By Sumi KhanDhaka, Dec 5 : Radical and anti-liberation forces vandalised an under construction sculpture of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in Bangladesh’s Kushtia city.
Mahbub-ul-Alam Hanif, MP from Kushtia-3 (Sadar) constituency and Joint General Secretary of the Awami League (AL), said: “Such an act will never have been allowed in Kushtia.All those who are behind the criminal activity will be punished.No one will be spared.”
Police have been directed to take action, Hanif told IANS.
Kushtia Superintendent of Police S.M.Tanvir Arafat told IANS: “CCTV camera footage shows that around 2 a.m last Friday two people were seen vandalising the sculpture of the father of the nation Bangabandhu.”
He added: “Attempts are being made to identify them.They will be brought before the law soon.”
According to Kushtia Municipality sources, it was decided in November that three sculptures of Bangabandhu will be installed at the intersection of five streets in the city, funded by the municipality.
Sculptures installed long ago at the intersection of the five streets are being demolished and three sculptures are being made facing three main roads.
At the bottom will be the murals of four national leaders.
Mahbub Jamal Shamim, a sculptor from Jessore, was awarded the work costing about Rs 30 lakh through tender.
Work started on it on November 16.
Kushtia Municipality Mayor Anwar Ali said, “Those, who are against the Awami League and Bangladesh, those who cannot accept Bangabandhu, they have done this.The police has been informed and a case has been filed.”
After this incident, surveillance has been stepped up at all the sculptures in the district.
Deputy Commissioner of Kushtia, Aslam Hossain said that all the sculptures in the district including in the Collectorate premises have been covered by CCTV cameras.
Besides, the concerned Upajila Nirbahi Officers (UNO)s have been directed to tighten security, he added.
The making of a sculpture of the Father of the Nation has recently stirred up a lot of controversy.
Pakistan-oriented anti-liberation organisation Jamat e Islam and the fanatical Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh chief Junaid Babunagari had 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 organisation, publicly sparked off a controversy over the matter.
Other hardline Islamist organisations in the country have also joined the debate saying that Bangladesh cannot have any sculptures as it is “against the religion of Islam.”
The ruling party Awami League affiliated organisations have taken a strict stand against such claims and said that there is no space for “communal differences in a secular Bangladesh.”
Bangladesh has had a long history of sculptures and busts being made and preserved — including those of political, social, and prominent personalities and figures — all across the country.