12 Jun 2024, 18:35
Update : 12 Jun 2024, 19:33

Tarique, 14 others are fugitive convicts in Aug 21 grenade attack case: PM tells JS

SANGSAD BHABAN, June 12, 2024 (BSS) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said in the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) that BNP leader Tarique Zia and 14 other convicts of the August 21, 2004 grenade attack case are fugitives.

“Thirty four convicts were arrested while 15 others, including Tarique Rahman alias Tarique Zia are fugitives out of 49," she told the parliament while replying to a tabled question from treasury bench lawmaker Farida Yasmin (Women Seat-35) during the question-answer session.

The question-answer session slated for the Prime Minister was held at the beginning of the day's proceedings with Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair.

"Efforts are on to arrest the fugitive accused," she added.

Sheikh Hasina, also the Leader of the House, said a total of 49 accused got various sentences that include capital publishment and life-term in the trial of the grenade attack case in Dhaka’s Speedy Trial Tribunal No-1 on October 10, 2018.

“Of the convicts, 19 were sentenced to death, 19 others to life imprisonment while the rest 11 to various jail terms,” she added.

Sheikh Hasina said that interpol served red notices on convicted accused Maulana Tajuddin, Harris Chowdhury and Ratul Ahmed Babu alias Ratul Babu who are absconding abroad.

Two cases - one under penal code and another under explosives substances law - were filed over the deadly grenade attacks on an anti-terrorism rally of then opposition Awami League in the capital city's Bangabandhu Avenue on August 21, 2004.

It is mentionable that former political Adviser to then Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, Harris Chowdhury passed away being fugitive in the August 21 grenade attack case, in 2021 and his family later confirmed his death.

Responding to another question from Awami League lawmaker Anwar Hossain Khan (Laxmipur-1), the Prime Minister said her government has prepared a project for 15 lightning-prone districts with a target to stop losses of lives due to lightning.

She also said that the proposed project suggesting installation of some 6,793 lightning rods/ lightning protection canopies has already been sent to the Planning Commission

In reply to another question from AL lawmaker Md Mainul Hossain Khan (Dhaka-14), Sheikh Hasina said an initiative has been taken to establish a state-of-the-art national emergency operation centre on one acre of land in the capital’s Tejgaon area with the cooperation of China to deal with earthquakes and other mega disasters.

The implementation work will begin by formulating a project for this building that can withstand an 8-magnitude earthquake on Richter scale, she said.

Answering a question from independent lawmaker Abdullah Nahid Niger (Gaibandha-1), she said the tribunals set up after 2009 to try crimes against humanity and war criminals have so far disposed of 56 cases and 153 accused were sentenced to death or with different jail terms.

The Prime Minister said the present government has relentlessly been working to establish the rule of law by guaranteeing fair trials to reduce the suffering of the justice seekers.

The government is committed to ensuring justice on the basis of equality for all, irrespective of the rich and poor, and establishing justice in society by making visible development in the judiciary, she said.





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