Hefajat-e-Islam leader Maulana Mamunul Haque yesterday said he would remove all the sculptures in the country if he had the legal, moral and political capacity.
Mamunul, joint secretary general of the Qawmi madrasa-based platform, further said his stance was against sculptures, not against Bangabandhu in any way.
"I fully respect Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the great leader of the country's Liberation War, and pray for the salvation of his departed soul. I never in any way oppose such a national leader and I don't think it is appropriate to do so," Mamunul, also secretary general of Bangladesh Khelafat Majlish, told reporters at the Majlish office in the capital.
The Hefajat leader further said he would continue to oppose installation of any sculptures in the country.
"I don't want to get involved in any fight with the state or the government but it [the government] should not take any step that is reckless and can endanger the lives of people as well as their property," he added.
Earlier this month, Mamunul had sparked outrage by reportedly speaking against installation of Bangabandhu's sculpture. He skipped a Hefajat programme in Chattogram on November 27 amid demonstrations by ruling party activists.
Hefajat once again came under the spotlight after Junayed Babunagari became its new Amir following the death of Shah Ahmed Shafi in September.
Under the new leadership, Hefajat became vocal on various issues including installation of Bangabandhu's sculpture in the capital's Jurain.
The government has been arguing that sculptures and idols are not the same as many Muslim countries have those.
In reply to a question, Mamunul yesterday said, "I did not say the sculpture of Bangabandhu will be dumped into the Buriganga. From my ideological stance, I said installation of any sculpture will not be allowed in the country.
"I have said unequivocally that I am against all sculptures no matter whose those are of. It doesn't matter if it is of Ziaur Rahman or anyone else. I have been demanding removal of all the sculptures.
"We will move to remove all the sculptures including that of Ziaur Rahman from this Muslim land if we have the legal, moral and political capacity."
Mamunul said his aim is to achieve the goal through a transparent political process in the light of the Quran and the Sunnah followed by his predecessors.
He further said they do not have any programme or scheme against the government or the state.
The Hefajat leader mentioned that though Bangladesh Khelafat Majlish had allied itself with the BNP and the Awami League in the past, it is not part of any political alliance now.
He alleged that a vested quarter is conspiring to put him on a collision course with the government.
Hefajat first appeared on the scene in 2009 by protesting a draft national women development policy that provided equal inheritance rights to women.
It grabbed the spotlight in 2013 when it emerged as a force countering the Shahbagh movement initiated by bloggers and online activists demanding death penalty for war criminal Abdul Quader Mollah.
On May 5 the same year, Hefajat activists kept Motijheel in the city occupied for nearly 12 hours after a rally there. Law enforcers swung into action after midnight and drove them away.