A Lady Justice statue was removed from Bangladesh’s Supreme Court grounds under tight security after Islamist hardliners forced for its removal for months. The sculpture of a woman holding a scale and sword in her hands was mounted in December outside the court building.
People protested late Thursday night on bordering street facing the court premises when workers removed the sculpture. The statue was covered and was kept nearby subsequently.
Sculptor Mrinal Haque said the taking away of sculpture was too shocking. “I am feeling terrible,” Haque told The Associated Press. “This is injustice, this is not fair. My mother has died and I can easily compare my present feeling with that loss.”
Islamists, who oppose idol worship, consider Lady Justice Statue as anti-Islamic. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina too had said in a meeting with Islamist group Hefazat-e-Islam that she did not like the statue.
Hefazat-e-Islam supporters protested opposite the main mosque in Dhaka on a numerous occasions after the statue was mounted. The group with a net of students from thousands of Islamic schools had threatened to start a mass movement if the government did not remove the statue.
This is not the first such statue controversy. In 2008, protests led to the elimination of a statue of a Bangladeshi mystic poet at a road crossing near Dhaka’s airport. The nation of 160 million people is ruled by secular laws, but deep-seated Islam has been growing.
Recently, a number of atheists, writers, bloggers and publishers and members of minority communities have been killed for raising voice in some or other way.