While the demonstrators have declared Shahbag a politics-free zone and turned away politicians who wanted to use the stage to deliver a speech, the gathering nonetheless has the approval of the ruling party.
As with Cambodia, it has taken some four decades for Bangladesh to address its genocide. The Awami League made the prosecution of war crimes perpetrators a central election plank in its 2008 campaign.
"It is a unique incident. It is a unique uprising that has spread to the villages," Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said of the Shahbag gathering. "The new generation, including the children, has woken up irrespective of their political views."
As the protests grew, the parliament proposed an amendment to the law empowering the International Crimes Tribunal. Under the proposed amendment, the government can appeal any tribunal verdict, and Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said it plans to do so in Mollah's case.
Protesters hailed the proposal, but human rights groups weren't pleased.
"A government supposedly guided by the rule of law cannot simply pass retroactive laws to overrule court decisions when it doesn't like them," said Brad Adams, the Asia director of the New York-based Human Rights Watch.
The amendments "make a mockery of the trial process," he added.
The Awami League has also endorsed the protesters' call for a ban on religious-based political parties -- and Jamaat in particular.
"We're examining all possible ways of doing it," the law minister said.
It's not a surprise, analysts say. Sidelining Jamaat, an opposition party with sizable influence, would play to Awami League's advantage politically.
But such a scenario "would raise stability risks in Bangladesh," says Romen Bose, deputy head of Asia forecasting at IHS' Exclusive Analysis, an outfit that assesses political and violent risks worldwide.
"For the government to ban Jamaat would mean pushing them against the wall," with the potential for a guerrilla-style insurgency if the party is locked out of politics, he said.
Meanwhile, Jamaat's tactic has been to turn criticism of it into criticism of Islam.
Jamaat has called the Shahbag participants "anti-Islamic atheists" who deserve death for defaming the religion but who are protected by the government.
The party also accuses the protesters of seeking to overturn an independent judiciary.
On February 15, a blogger and one of the Shahbag organizers, Ahmed Rajib Haider, was hacked to death hours after he called for a boycott of Jamaat-affiliated institutions and businesses.
An atheist, he is alleged to have been behind anti-Islamic posts, which protesters contend are part of a cyber war to malign the movement.
So far, the Shahbag protesters and Jamaat supporters have not had direct confrontations -- a scenario Bose says would be "disastrous."
But increasingly, the Islamists are letting their presence known with larger and larger rallies and strikes first in cities outside Dhaka and then in the capital city.
On Friday, at least 18 journalists were attacked by Jamaat supporters after Friday prayers.
And on Sunday, several thousand Islamists took to the streets in Manikganj after an imam of a local mosque urged them to rally against bloggers he accused of insulting the Prophet Mohammed. Police fired nearly 300 gunshots and 50 tear-gas shells to disperse the mob.
Other Jamaat-led protests also turned violent. In all, 24 people have died so far, and Jamaat has called for a general strike Thursday.
To be fair, both sides are trying to muffle each other.
On Tuesday, Shahbag activists marched to the home ministry with a memorandum demanding the arrest of the editor of the newspaper Amar Desh for instigating violence with reports that their movement was anti-Islam.
The editor, Mahmudur Rahman, who is being sued for such charges, has been defended in the past by the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, citing "ongoing judicial harassment."
Amar Desh, according to the group, reports on corruption cases in Bangladesh.
More recently, the group expressed concerns about a restricting environment for human rights activities ahead of elections next year.
Photographer Shah Sazzad Hossein has gone to Shahbag about a dozen times to get a sense of who the demonstrators are and what keeps bringing them back.
He says he sees no signs of the rallies abating, with people wanting nothing less than the death penalty for war criminals.
And yet he cannot shake a feeling of foreboding.
"I think there will be violence in the coming months," he said.
Then he added, echoing the sentiment of the masses assembled in Shahbag, "I'm not afraid."