Government officials of 29 cadres under Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) have pledged to not allow any attempt disrespecting Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) – the country's top business body – and other professional and socio-cultural organisations have also staged protests across the country over the same issue.
Judges of different ranks in Chattogram have also protested the demolition of the Bangabandhu's sculpture.
A rally organised by the "Government Officials Forum" at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital on Saturday afternoon demanded severe punishment for those involved in vandalising the Bangabandhu's sculpture.
Speaking on the occasion, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Dr Ahmad Kaikaus said, "We pledge we will not allow anyone to dishonour the father of the nation. 'Joy Bangla' is the slogan of our liberation war. From today, we all will say 'Joy Bangla' at the end of our speech, and if necessary, we will take the government permission."
"Our job is to uphold the constitution. We are united in defending Bangabandhu's honour… We want to remove the word, 'ungrateful', from the dictionary of Bangladesh," he warned.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Benazir Ahmed said nobody will be allowed to cause harm to liberation, constitution, state and father of the nation.
"The Bangabandhu has given us the country, the flag and the map. Attack on him is an assault on the constitution and the state. The state will deal with it strictly as per the rules," he warned.
Asking why militant processions are frequently brought out in Dhaka, he said, "Do not wear a political badge in preaching religion. We will not sit idly. I have ensured this before, and I am re-ensuring it today."
With the slogan "We will hold high the honour of Father of the Nation", the protest meeting was held by the officials working in the field administration of the government in coordination with their respective divisional, district and upazila administrations. Thousands of officials were present at the rally in Dhaka.
Welcoming the gathering, Helal Uddin Ahmed, president of Bangladesh Administration Service Association and senior secretary of Local Government Division, said Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is constitutionally recognised as the father of the nation. The Bangabandhu and independence are closely intertwined.
"The anti-liberation force is still denying this great leader. They are threatening to prevent construction of the Bangabandhu's sculpture. But any kind of injury to, any insult on the image of Bangabandhu will not be tolerated," he said.
Representatives of all cadres, especially BCS Women Network President and Food Secretary Moshammat Nazmanara Khanum, Director General of the Department of Secondary and Higher Education Syed Golam Faruk on behalf of the BCS Education Cadre, Bangladesh Judicial Service Association Secretary General Bikash Kumar Sahader, and others, also spoke on the occasion.
The FBCCI protest
Meanwhile, FBCCI formed a human chain at Motijheel's Shapla Chattar area to protest the demeaning of the image of the Bangabandhu. In solidarity over the issue, all FBCCI members also gathered across the country.
The president of the organisation, Sheikh Fazle Fahim, said insult to the father of the nation will never be tolerated by the businessmen and the people of the country.
REHAB President Alamgir Shamsul Alamin Kajal said, "Hurting the Bangabandhu is hurting the country, its independence. It is not acceptable. Traders have come down to the field, no one will be spared."
BAIRA President Benjir Ahmed, a lawmaker, said, after fifty years, it is surprising to think how some quarters dare to insult the Bangabandhu. "We need to find out who they are and where they live."
MCCI President Barrister Nihad Kabir said, "We will not tolerate the humiliation of Bangabandhu who started the progress of industry and trade on the soil of Bangladesh."
Business leaders said Bangladesh is a progressive country and everyone must work together to move the country forward.
The business community will stand together as an alliance to resist any insult to the Bangabandhu. Those who have humiliated the Bangabandhu are not miscreants but non-humans. They are monsters. They must be brought to justice, businesspeople also said.
DCCI President Shams Mahmud said insulting Bangabandhu would hamper the country's progress. "So, we will have to resist it."
Judges protest in Chattogram
Judges of Chattogram on Saturday took to the streets to protest the vandalism of the sculpture of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
They held a human chain under the banner of Judicial Service Association, Chattogram District Committee in front of Punak Bhaban in Dampara of the city.
About 100 judges of different ranks were present at that time. Later, they marched to the district Shilpakala Academy on the MM Ali Road and took part in the protest meeting, along with other government officials.
Mentioning that judges also have a responsibility to participate in the protest as citizens, Chattogram District Sessions Judge Ismail Hossain said the nation is aggrieved and protesting today over the demolition of Bangabandhu's sculpture.
The judges will not compromise on the question of the father of the nation, he said, adding that the constitution gives judges the responsibility to uphold the dignity of the father of the nation.