Jamaat-e-Islami sees the simultaneous movement with BNP and other like-minded political parties as a chance to revive itself and return to politics at a time when many want it banned for opposing the country’s independence in 1971.
Pro-liberation organisations have long demanded that the religious extremist group be tried for its role in the crimes against humanity committed during the Liberation War.
Besides, Jamaat is infamously known for carrying out a series of violent anti-state activities before and after the national election in 2014.
Meanwhile, several of its top leaders were executed for war crimes over the years since 2013.
The party also lost its registration with the Election Commission, becoming ineligible to contest polls in 2018.
Subsequently, the militant organisation seemingly have been underground in recent times.
However, party insiders say, Jamaat now plans to mobilise and demonstrate its strength on the streets ahead of the next election taking advantage of the simultaneous movements of BNP and other like-minded political parties.
On Friday, Jamaat men clashed with police in the capital’s Mouchak and Paltan as they took to the streets after a long time.
Party insiders say that Jamaat wants to show its strength on a larger scale and push for its 10-point demand, which includes the government’s resignation and holding the next general election under a non-partisan interim government.
“We will force the present government to step down through our simultaneous movement which will be stronger in the days to come,” a Jamaat leader said wishing anonymity.
It also tried to show its presence on the streets, following the arrest of its ameer Shafiqur Rahman on December 13, 2021, for his alleged involvement with a newly surfaced militant group by the name of “Jama’atul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya”.
Earlier on November 9, 2021, Jamaat ameer’s son, Rafat Sadiq Saifullah was also arrested on the same ground.
It is now moving ahead with multi-faceted plans ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections.
Discussions are going on in the political circles that its new party – Bangladesh Development Party (BDP) has applied for registration.
Although Jamaat is not acknowledging its involvement with BDP, leaders of the new party are all from Jamaat-Shibir.
The International Crimes Tribunal, in a verdict, said the killing of the intellectuals just ahead of the country’s victory in December 1971 was the brainchild of Jamaat and Al Badar.
Jamaat actively opposed the country’s independence and took part in genocides and crimes against humanity.
Its ten top leaders, including its ameer Matiur Rahman Nizami, and secretary general Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, were executed after being found guilty of committing crimes against humanity.
In October, 2022, Law minister Anisul Huq said a draft amendment of the law has been sent to the cabinet division for approval for trying Jamaat on charges of their crimes against humanity
The amendment of law will be passed within a few days and the trial will begin, the minister added.
Originally published on: The Daily Star (01 Jan 2023)