DHAKA, Oct 10, 2018 (BSS) – Awami League today demanded trial of BNP chief Begum Khaleda Zia and awarding death penalty to her son and BNP’s current acting chairman Tarique Rahman over the August 21 barbaric grenade attack cases.
“Begum Zia’s son Tarique Rahman was the mastermind of the heinous August 21 grenade attack on the then opposition leader and incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Therefore we demanded capital punishment to Tarique in the case,” Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader said in a reaction to the verdict at AL president’s political office in city’s Dhanmondi.
He said Luthfuzzaman Babar was the state minister for home affairs at that time and then Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia could not avoid the responsibility for the August 21, 2004 grenade attack as she was holding charge of the home ministry as per the parliamentary norms.
He said, “We have got justice over the heinous attack despite a relapse of a long period as the then BNP-Jamaat government wanted to divert the incident in a different direction to protect the main culprits of the attack…We’ve come out of the culture of a travesty of justice.”
“We have accepted the verdict positively because the court gave the judgment considering all evidences related to the case. But we urge the government to appeal for capital punishment of the masterminds, including Tarique Rahman,” Quader added.
He said, “We wanted justice. But we did not interfere in the cases. The procedures of the trial were conducted independently.”
About a comment of BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Quader, also the road transport and bridges minister, said BNP is a barbaric political party. They (BNP) are absolutely lying over the barbaric grenade attack and their mischievousness over the incident is simply ludicrous, he added.
“If BNP is not guilty of the attack, why they destroyed the evidences?, why they helped the attackers to flee?, why did they create obstacles on the investigation of FBI and Scotland Yard into the cases? and why they staged ‘Jaj Miah drama’?,” he asked.
The ruling party general secretary said the two incidents-the August 15, 1975 gruesome killing and the August 21, 2004 grenade attack–were intertwined in the same string.
AL Joint General Secretaries Mahbub-ul-Alam Hanif, Dr Dipu Moni and Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Organizing Secretaries Ahmed Hossain and AK Anamul Haque Shamim, Cultural Affairs Secretary Ashim Kumar Ukil, Office Secretary Dr Abdus Sobhan Golap, Publicity and Publication Secretary Dr Hasan Mahmud, Information and Research Secretary Afzal Hossain and Liberation War Affairs Secretary Mrinal Kanti Das, among others, were present.
A court here today sentenced to death to 19 people including former junior home minister Lutfuzzaman Babar and life imprisonment to another 19 including ex-premier Khaleda Zia’s fugitive son Tarique Rahman on the August 21, 2004 grenade attack charge.
Judge Shahed Nuruddin of Dhaka’s Speedy Trial Tribunal pronounced the judgment ordering Rahman to be exposed to prison term for life along with 18 others and sentenced 19 people including ex-junior minister Lutfuzzaman Babar and ex-deputy minister Abdus Salam Pintu and several former army intelligence officers to death penalty.
“They (who are sentenced to death) shall be hanged by neck until they are dead,” Nuruddin pronounced as 31 of 49 the accused were present on the dock while several others are on the run abroad to evade justice.
He found all the 49 guilty and sentenced to different jail terms to the rest 11 for the attack that killed 24 people and wounded some 500 others, crippling some of them for life.