The government said the security forces were put on high alert across the country as Jamaat and Sayedee’s supporters planned more protests Friday. An additional 10,000 paramilitary border guards were deployed to boost security, said the Home Ministry, which controls security forces.
In a statement Friday, Jamaat asked its supporters to converge in the country’s mosques to offer a special mass prayer for those killed during the violence.
Authorities fear that the mass prayer may turn into street protests.
Sayedee, 73, was convicted on eight of the 20 charges against him.
His lawyer Abdur Razzak rejected the verdict as politically motivated. He said the defendant will appeal the verdict to the country’s Supreme Court.
Prosecutor Syed Haider Ali said he was satisfied with the verdict. «Justice has been done to those who lost their loved ones at the hands of Sayedee,» he said.
Sayedee, a teacher at an Islamic seminary school when he allegedly committed the crimes, is the third defendant to be convicted of war crimes by the special tribunal set up in 2010.
Jamaat, the largest Islamic party in Bangladesh, campaigned against Bangladesh’s independence, but denies it was behind any atrocities.
Jamaat is an ally of the country’s main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party led by ex-Premier Khaleda Zia and was a partner in her government during 2001-2006.
Bangladesh says the 1971 war left 3 million people dead, 200,000 women raped and forced millions to take shelter in neighboring India.