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BANGLADESH: Thousands protest publication of cartoons on Prophet

Protesters in Dhaka call for boycott of European products

The Daily Star
Sunday, February 12, 2006

Dhaka --- Thousands of devotees took to the streets across the country on Friday to protest the publication of cartoons on Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SM) by a Danish newspaper.

In the capital, the devotees clashed with police and burned the Danish flag and the effigies of US President George W Bush and other Western leaders.

They also called on the Muslims all over the world to boycott European products.

After the Juma prayers, hundreds of devotees in the capital joined a demonstration under the banner of 'Sammillita Islami Dal' (United Islamic Parties) amid tight security enforced by several hundred members of the police.

The organisations that joined the protest march and rally included Islami Shashontantra Andolon, Hizbut Tahrir Bangladesh, Jamiat-e-Ulama-e-Islam Bangladesh, Bangladesh Jamiatul Mudarresin, Islami Oikya Andolon, Bangladesh Nezam-e-Islam Party, Bangladesh Khelafat Majlish and Bangladesh Khelafat Andolon.

The protesters started marching from Baitul Mukarram National Mosque towards the Danish Embassy in Gulshan, but the law enforcers intercepted them at the Kakrail intersection.

Some devotees were injured when they clashed with policemen at Kakrail.

The protestors also announced two action programmes -- march towards the Jatiya Sangsad on Monday to press for their demand for a condemnation bill, and a grand rally on Friday in the city.

Later, they held a rally in front of the Baitul Mukarram Mosque.

Charmonai Pir Fazlul Huq, also the chairman of Islam Shasontantra Andolon, Mahiuddin Khan, Azizul Huq Murad, Abdur Rakib, Md Abul Bashar, Habibur Rahman, Maulana Muhiuddin Khan and Shah Ahmmad Shafi addressed the rally.

According to witnesses, hundreds of devotees from different parts of the capital joined the rally and took part in the demonstration while several hundred policemen from Dhaka Metropolitan Police and Armed Police Battalion were deployed to maintain law and order and ensure security.

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