Dhaka: As thousands of youth continued their movement at Shahbagh in Dhaka to press for death penalty for war criminals, President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said he believed Bangladeshi youths would determine the country's future.
"We have recently seen a reawakening of the youth who recall the extraordinary sacrifices that led to the birth of the nation. The youth of this country will determine its future," Mukherjee told state-run BSS news agency on the eve of his visit to Dhaka, starting Sunday.
He said India did "whatever we could to support the refugees, provide them food and shelter and create awareness in the world about the terrible atrocities being committed against the people of what is today Bangladesh" by Pakistani troops during the liberation war of 1971.
Mukherjee's remarks about "reawakening of the Bangladeshi youth" came intensified movement by youths demanding death for those who had sided with the Pakistani army and colluded in the killings and rape during the liberation war.
On the other hand, Bangladesh saw stepped-up nationwide violence by fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) to stop the trial of some of its top leaders for "crimes against humanity" and siding with Pakistani troops as the party had opposed the independence of Bangladesh.
Three top leaders of Jamaat, including its vice president Delwar Hossain Sayedee, have so far been convicted by international war crimes tribunals here, drawing waves of violent protests from party cadres across the country leaving more than 50 people dead in less than one month.