PM Sheikh Hasina blames BNP-Jamaat alliance for August 21grenade attack



Senior Correspondent, Barta24.com
Photo: Barta24.com

Photo: Barta24.com

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has again blamed the then BNP-Jamaat alliance government and their patrons for the grenade attack on an Awami League rally on August 21, 2004, saying it could not have happened without the government's patronage.

She said this was evident in the attempts to destroy the evidence, help the killers escape and divert justice.

The Prime Minister said, "Khaleda Zia's government sent 4 people out of the country on a Singapore Airlines flight at around 11 pm that day. Among them was Tajuddin, a prison guard and it is heard that Colonel Rashid and Dalim also came to Dhaka at that time and were under the care of Khaleda Zia and Tariq Zia. '

She said, "Intelligence agencies including DGFI, NSI and police were all involved in this." So they protected them and give them a chance to get out of the country. Because, when they found out that I was alive and not dead, they decided to leave the country. '

The Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina made the remarks while addressing a discussion meeting organized by the Bangladesh Awami League on Saturday (August 21) morning on the occasion of the 17th anniversary of the horrific grenade attack. She virtually participated in the main event held at the Awami League's central office at 23, Bangabandhu Avenue through video conference from Ganobhaban.

The Prime Minister said a prison guard was involved. Grenades were found inside the jail (a grenade similar to the grenade used on August 21). But not everyone was able to hit the grenades in everyone's hands. The grenade was found abandoned in the alley in front of Ramna Hotel and was found in a few places.

Obaidul Quader, General Secretary of the party and Minister for Road Transport and Bridges, gave an introductory speech at the discussion. The party's joint general secretary and information and broadcasting minister Hasan Mahmud also spoke on the occasion.At the beginning of the program, one minute of silence was observed in memory of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, National 4 leaders, martyred in grenade attack of 21 August, all martyrs of 15 August and 30 lakh martyrs of Liberation War.

Also speaking at the meeting was party presidium member and former minister Begum Matia Chowdhury MP, central leader and BMA secretary general Dr. Mostafa Jalal Mohiuddin, Organizing Secretary SM Kamal Hossain, Metropolitan Awami League North President Sheikh Bazlur Rahman and South President Bir Muktijoddha Abu Ahmed Mannafi.

On this day in 2004, during the BNP-Jamaat coalition government, an unprecedented grenade attack was carried out on a peaceful anti-terror rally of the Awami League on Bangabandhu Avenue in the capital. Before anything could be understood, in the horrors of the 13 Arges type grenades were thrown at the rally particularly to kill the incumbent PM Sheikh.

In that incident, the party leaders and workers made a human shield and protected Sheikh Hasina, but her ears were damaged.

A total of 24 people, including Ivy Rahman, the Awami League's women's affairs secretary and wife of the late President Zillur Rahman, and leaders and activists were killed in the grenade attack. More than 500 people including political activists, pedestrians, security personnel and journalists were injured.
In October 2018, a court sentenced 19 people, including former BNP-Jamaat alliance state minister for Home Lutfuzzaman Babar, deputy education minister Abdus Salam Pintu and two top intelligence officials, to death in the grenade attack case.

Among those sentenced to death were 14 members of the militant group Harkatul Jihad (Huji-B). Besides, 19 people, including BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman, were sentenced to life imprisonment and 11 others to various terms of imprisonment. Following the judgment of the trial court, the case is now awaiting death reference and appeal hearing in the High Court.