Bangladesh beefs up security as Jamaat calls shutdown

Dhaka, Jan 7 (IANS) Authorities intensified security measures on Thursday with Bangladesh’s largest Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami observing a nationwide shutdown to protest an apex court verdict that upheld death penalty for its chief.

Thursday’s dawn-to-dusk shutdown by the party is in protest against the Supreme Court verdict, which upheld death penalty for its chief Motiur Rahman Nizami for his 1971 war crimes, bdnews24 reported.

Dhaka was, however, largely peaceful in the early hours of the strike. Jamaat activists also did not take out any procession in support of the strike.

Security was beefed up in Dhaka since Wednesday over the apex court’s verdict on the Jamaat chief’s appeal. He had challenged the war crimes tribunal’s sentence.

Nizami is the second war criminal to be sentenced to death for the killing of intellectuals during the 1971 Liberation War. During the war, he was the chief of Islami Chhatra Sangha, the affiliated student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami.

He was also the chief of the Al-Badr force that was formed by some members of Chhatra Sangha.

The Al-Badr was formed to actively collaborate with the Pakistani occupation forces.

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