PW witnesses Tarique joining meeting with militants at Hawa Bhaban

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DHAKA, Nov 20, 2017 (BSS) – The prosecution in its arguments in the August 21, 2004, grenade attack case, today referred the deposition submitted by prosecution witness (PW) Mawlana Abdur Rashid, saying he witnessed BNP leader Tarique Rahman and others holding meeting with militant leaders at Hawa Bhaban to prepare for the barbaric attack.

“Rashid used to work at Al Markazul Islam Bangladesh Madrasa, where militant leaders Mawlana Tajuddin, Mufti Hannan, Sheikh Salam, Sheikh Farid and former BNP lawmaker Kaikobad used to make frequent visit.

One day Tajuddin and Hannan went to the madrasa and sought a vehicle to carry them to Hawa Bhaban. Rashid gave them a vehicle and also went with them to the then office of Tarique Rahman,” Advocate Syed Rezaur Rahman, chief prosecutor in the case, told the court.

“Rashid was standing outside the building, from where he saw Tarique, Haris Chowdhury, Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid, Kaikobad, Lutfuzzaman Babar and others entering to join meeting with the militants,” Rahman added.

Advocate Rahman said these while placing closing arguments for 13th day at Dhaka 1st speedy trial tribunal. Judge Shahed Nur Uddin of the court adjourned the hearing till November 27, as the prosecution failed to wrap up their arguments today.

Today the chief state prosecutor placed arguments on confessional statements given by accused Sharif Saidul Islam Bipul, Arif Hasan and prosecution witness Rashid.

Earlier, the prosecution in their arguments said a total of five local and foreign militant outfits were involved in the barbaric attack, killing 24 leaders and activists of Bangladesh Awami League.

“Harkat-ul Jihad-al Islami Bangladesh (HuJI-B), Kashmir-based separatist organization Hizb-ul Mujahideen, Tehrik Jihad-e Islam, Lashkar-e Tyaba and Myanmar-based Rohingya Solidarity Organization (RSO) were involved in the monstrous attack,” the chief prosecutor said on November 8.

“Apart from these groups, Pakistan intelligence agency ISI and then BNP-Jamaat alliance government orchestrated the attack. The then government used Ministry of Home Affairs, DGFI, NSI and Bangladesh Police in executing the conspiracy,” he added.

A total of 24 AL leaders and workers including the then Mohila Awami League President and wife of late President Zillur Rahman, Ivy Rahman, were killed and 500 others were injured.

Earlier, the senior jurist in his arguments said a total of 12 accused have given confessional statement under section 164. Of those accused, HuJI leader Mufti Abdul Hannan gave two confessional statements.

A total of 225 prosecution witnesses testified in the case, while 20 witnesses were produced by the defence.

The attack was carried out on an anti-terrorism rally of Awami League aimed at killing the front ranking leaders including its President and incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to eliminate the party leaderships.

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