No Hartal Sunday
Saturday, 25 December 2010

Sammilito Ulama-Mashayekh Parishad has declared withdrawal of their countrywide dawn-to-dusk shutdown on Sunday after negotiations with the government.

The alliance of islamist groups had declared the hartal on Dec 8 protesting a government move to 'secularise' the education system. The main opposition BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami lent their supports to the general strike.

"We had talks with prime minister's advisor H T Imam," Islami Oikyo Jote general secretary Abdul Latif Nezami, who is also a presidium member of the Parishad, told a press conference at the National Press Club on Saturday.

"The hartal programme has been withdrawn since the government asked for tine to consider our demands regarding the education policy," he said.

Nezami also threatened a hartal if the demands were not met.

Earlier in the morning, several senior leaders of the group confirmed about the decision, which was also taken considering the Christmas celebration.

The group on Friday night held a meeting at the residence of group's chief Muhiuddin Khan at Gandaria and decided to withdraw the hartal.

Several ruling party leaders and cabinet members urged the Parishad to withdraw the general strike. Following this, a delegation led by Khan on Wednesday and another with Nezami on Thursday met Imam.

Khan on Dec 8 had alleged that the education policy placed in parliament put little importance to religious education. "The government did not consult the religious groups before framing the proposed education policy."

The national education policy was approved unanimously on Dec 7. On April 7 last year, the government formed a national committee, led by professor Kabir Chowdhury, to formulate the policy.

Education minister Nurul Islam Nahid on Oct 9 placed the education policy in the sixth session of parliament.

IOJ joint secretaries Alamgir Majumder and Khalilur Rahman Madani and city unit president Ahmed Ali Kashem were present at the press conference among others.

Parishad chief Khan was absent due to illness, the reporters were told.


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