- ByIndrani Bagchi, TNN
NEW DELHI: The protesters at Shahbagh, a busy intersection in Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, have probably their strongest support from neighbour India.
On Friday, National Security Adviser (NSA) Shivshankar Menon said the protests were a sign of the “open-mindedness” of the Bangladeshi youth, who were battling extremism and upholding fundamental values of democracy. Setting up the Ram Sathe chair in Pune, Menon said, “The ongoing spontaneous gathering against extremist elements and war criminals by thousands of youth at Shahbagh intersection in Dhaka shows the strength of feeling, capacity for political mobilization and open-mindedness of Bangladeshi youth.”
During his recent visit to Bangladesh, foreign minister Salman Khurshid, too, had voiced his solidarity with the protesters. Talking to journalists in Dhaka, Khurshid had said, “It’s always wonderful to see young people engage in any democratic process. They show their concern, their involvement, their aspiration, I applaud and I admire “It revives your strongest feelings and faith in democracy,” he said.
The Shahbagh protests started on February 5 after Bangladesh’s international war crimes tribunal sentenced Abdul Kader Molla to life imprisonment. The protesters have taken to streets since then, demanding gallows for all those found guilty in war crimes. The protesters have also demanded a ban on the Islamic party Jamaat, whose members are believed to be collaborators with the Pakistani Army during the 1971 war.
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