Jamaat furthers new propaganda via social media

Dhaka (The Daily Star/ANN) - Supporters of Bangladesh's Jamaat-e-Islami party have been continuing their propaganda through social media, now claiming that arms and ammunition recently seized by Indian police were actually being smuggled by the Bangladesh government to wipe out the party's student wing, the Islami Chhatra Shibir.

A photo titled "Conspiracy of Awami League Unveiled" posted by one "18-party alliance" on Facebook shows a huge number of AK-47 rifles. The post also gives a long narrative of how the government trained members of Chhatra League, the pro-Awami League student body, to use these arms against Jamaat-Shibir men.

Posted at 5:30pm yesterday on a page named Basherkella Chittagong, the narrative adds the arms and ammunition were coming from Myanmar but that the Indian authorities, unhappy with the "commission" offered, had seized them.

The Indian police on Friday said they seized 31 assault rifles, an automatic rifle, a light machine gun and some ammunition in Mizoram as these were being smuggled into Bangladesh from Myanmar via India.

After the main Basher Kella page was blocked by the authorities on Wednesday, the Jamaat-Shibir activists opened many pages like Basherkella Chittagong, Basherkella Feni, Basherkella Dubai and Basherkella Jeddah.

One post on Basherkella Dubai claims committees have been formed in every neighbourhood to wipe out Jamaat-Shibir. The government has supplied Ak-47 rifles with licence to different top-level members of Awami League wings like Jubo League and Chhatra League.

"So now it's time to be ready for an inevitable war. We are going to win this battle, Inshallah," the post said yesterday evening.

Their pages are also flooded with posts against the March 13 Chittagong rally called by Imran H Sarker, spokesperson of the Shahbagh movement.

"Let's resist the atheist bloggers on March 13. We would not let them enter Chittagong," says one post on Media Watch Bangladesh, another Facebook page allegedly run by Jamaat-Shibir activists.

Jamaat-Shibir supporters are also sharing a collage photo showing several people pointing a gun at Imran, also the convener of Blogger and Online Activist Network. The photo caption says: Everybody wants to kill Imran.

Also yesterday, they uploaded a photo with a caption that said the Hindu community in Nilphamari had brought out a procession demanding the release of Jamaat leader Sayedee, who was given death sentence for 1971 war crimes.

They are also spreading an English documentary through their pages showing Sayedee was convicted for war crimes committed by another Razakar named Delowar Shikder in Pirojpur.

"Bangladesh, where society is suffering from so many social diseases - corruption, crimes and many other social problems. Within those problems one pioneer came forward with light in the way of peace and tranquillity. Accepting his light, many people gave up stealing...," opens the documentary titled Sayeedi on War Crime Tribunal.

As seen in the credit line, one Independent News Network of Bangladesh made the documentary, which claims Sayedee to be "an innocent, pious person".

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