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Shaheed Rumi Squad: When hunger-strikers turn out to be Biryani-khors

Written By: MohammadHossain
30/03/2013 23:58 29/03/2013 19:28

An organization called Shaheed Rumi squad has been staging a hunger strike in front of the gate of the National Museum at Shahbag to demand for the ban of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chatra Shibir. Made up of a few left leaning youths, the organization has presently attracted some university teachers, thinkers and political activists. Witnesses have stated that the activists act as part of the hunger strike for a few hours during the day. Afterwards, during meal times, some of these ‘hunger strikers’ go to the various canteens in the student halls of Dhaka University for no other reason than to eat. Furthermore, secret feasts are regularly organized at various popular restaurants in Dhaka for the ‘hunger strikers’. Even though the hunger strike started with seven youths, they presently number at sixteen people. Behind them is observed the support of powerful sections of the government and several political organizations.     
On the other hand, the hunger strike continues in front of the main gate of the National Museum, which has blocked the entrance to the institution. Moreover, all around Shahbag, police barricades have been erected, which in addition to creating hurdles to the free movement of people, have also blocked access of visitors coming from various parts of the country to the museum. Attendance to the museum has significantly dropped as a result, leading to a situation similar to that of the Bangla Academy Ekushe Book fair, where attendance and sales were also severely affected.

It is mentionable that the Shahbag movement started on the 5th of February to press home demands for the execution of all war criminals. It propagated with a number of grand rallies in various places of the country. A prime demand of these rallies had been to ban Jamaat-Shibir politics by the 26th of March.
However, observing no action by the government in this regard, an organization called Shaheed Rumi squad decided to start a hunger strike from about 10 pm on that very day. They started with seven activists, a number which has since increased. Witnesses have confirmed that these hunger strikers stay for a few hours on the stage at Shahbag, and then go about to have meals at various canteens of the student halls in Dhaka. Then they come back to the stage. Witnesses report them as even going to the Faculty of Fine Arts for this purpose. The hunger strikers have also being reported to hold feasts at popular restaurants in Dhaka. Such incidents have been reported by both sources from eyewitnesses and those close to the Rumi squad.

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