Hefazat-e-Islam's Ameer Junaid Babungari has claimed that the 26 March police firing on madrasa students in Chattogram's Hathazari was premeditated.
"What is the proof that those who threw stones at the police station are madrasa students? There were many others there, but the police shot students directly. Why did they do so? It was premeditated," he said at a protest on Friday.
Hefazat's Hathazari upazila unit organised the protest on the Hathazari Dak bungalow premises over the deaths of its 21 members in the recent nationwide clashes with law enforcers.
"Bangladesh is an independent country and we have the full right to protest peacefully. Why did we face obstacles then? The police administration has no right to shoot during student protests. Those who opened fire on student processions without provocation should be given exemplary punishment," Babunagari said.
Police closed the Chattogram-Khagrachari road after Friday prayers over the protest. Traffic movement on the road was closed for about two hours, causing thousands of passengers to suffer.
Babunagari demanded compensation for the Hefazat members killed in clashes with police in Chattogram and Brahmanbaria.
"The government has to take responsibility for treatment of the Hefazat members who were injured in attacks made by Chhatra League and police. The false cases filed against Hefazat members across the country have to be withdrawn.
"Besides, the Hefazat members arrested by the police have to be released. Otherwise, Hefazat will be forced to launch a movement," he warned.
The Hefazat leader said, "We considered India a friend of Bangladesh. In reality, India is very hostile towards us. Bangladesh will be governed according to its constitution, not that of India."
"We will do jihad for independence just as we will do so for Islam. We are not anti-independence. Acquiring state power is not the goal of our movement," he further said.
Addressing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Babunagari said, "We are not your enemies. Your enemies are around you. Those who do not believe in religion and those who are atheists are the enemies of Islam. They are your enemies as well. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was not killed by any imam or muezzin. Get to know the enemies around you."
He said the government had filed many cases against him and might lodge more. "I have already been in jail. So, I am not afraid to be in prison. I am ready to go to jail any moment."
Earlier on 26 March, four people were killed in clashes between police and Hefazat members in Hathazari over Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Bangladesh. Hathazari Madrasa students took position at the madrasa gate and blocked the Chattogram-Khagrachari road.
At the request of the local administration, they withdrew the blockade after three days and traffic on the road then became normal.