Islamist radicals have vandalised the under-construction sculpture of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at the intersection of five roads in Kushtia city of Bangladesh.
Mahbub-ul-Alam Hanif, MP of Kushtia-3 (Sadar) constituency and joint general secretary of Awami League, said, ‘Such nasty attempt will never have been allowed in Kushtia. All those who are behind the criminal activity will be punished. No one will be exempted.”
Police have already been instructed to take action.
Kushtia Superintendent of Police SM Tanvir Arafat told Easternlink : “CCTV camera footage shows,around 2 a.m midnight 2 people were seen vandalizing the sculpture of Bangabondhu. “
He added, “Attempts are being made to identify them. They will be brought to justice soon.”
According to Kushtia Municipality sources, in November, it was decided to make three sculptures of Bangabandhu at the intersection of five streets of the city with the municipality’s own funds.
Shuffler sculptures made long ago at the intersection of five streets are being demolished and three sculptures are being made facing three main roads.
At the bottom will be the murals of the four national leaders. Mahbub Jamal Shamim, a sculptor from Jessore, got the work order through tender. It has cost about 30 lakh rupees. Work has started from November 16. Meanwhile, the work of making a sculpture of Bangabandhu’s speech on March 7, which is under construction, towards Majampur, is nearing completion. But who or what broke different parts of the sculpture last Friday night.
Kushtia Municipality Mayor Anwar Ali said, “Those, who are against the Awami League and Bangladesh- those who cannot accept Bangabandhu; They caused this incident. The police administration has been informed. A case is being filed in this regard.”
Meanwhile, after this incident, additional surveillance has been started on all the sculptures in the district. Deputy Commissioner of Kushtia District, Aslam Hossain said that all the sculptures in the district including the Collectorate premises have been taken under CCTV cameras.
Besides, the concerned Upajila Nirbahi officer (UNO)s have been directed to increase surveillance, he added.
The construction of a sculpture of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has recently stirred up a lot of unwanted debates.
Pak oriented Anti liberation force Jamat e Islam and fanatic Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh chief Junaid Babunagari issued threats during a rally in Chittagong that all the sculptures in the country will be removed after Mamunul Haque, the joint secretary general of the organization, publicly sparked the controversy over the matter.
Other hardline Islamist organizations of the country have also joined the debate saying that Bangladesh cannot have any sculptures as it is “against the religion of Islam.”
Meanwhile, in this crucial moment, the ruling party Awami League affiliated organizations have taken a strict stance against such claims and said that there is no space for “communal differences in a secular Bangladesh.”
It is quite evident that Bangladesh has had a long history of sculptures and busts being made and preserved – including political, social, and of prominent personalities and figures – all across the country.