Friday, June 21, 2024

Four-party govt behind grenade attack: PM

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has accused the then BNP- Jamaat- led four-party alliance government of their involvement in the deadly grenade attack on  Awami League rally on August 21 in 2004.
“I still believe that without the backing of the then government, such terrorist act could not be happened”, she said in Dhaka on Sunday. “There is no doubt that the massacre was completely pre-planned. It’s clear like broad daylight that the BNP-Jamaat government was involved in the heinous attack”, the prime minister, reportedly the target of the attack, said after placing floral wreath at a temporary monument built in front of Awami League central office at Bangabandhu Avenue where the attacks were carried out.
She was remembering the martyrs of 21 August grenade attack on the Awami League anti-terrorism and anti-militancy rally in the capital.
Sheikh Hasina, also the ruling party president, said,” Political opponents should be dealt with politically. Political rivals can not be eliminated by carrying such grenade attacks.”
As the killers of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman were brought under justice, the 21 August grenade attackers must be punished on this soil, she vowed.
She said, “I do politics for welfare of the people of the country. That’s why Almighty Allah had saved me from the attack to do something good for the people.”
Criticising the BNP-Jamaat alliance government, the ruling party boss said,” They did not fairly investigate into the incident, rather they eliminated all the evidences and  destroyed the live grenades  without preserving those as evidences.”
Announcing her government’s firm commitment to combat militancy in the country, the premier said, ”After coming to power, we took hard position against  militancy and terrorism so that such incidents never take place in the country again.”
We must continue our fight against militancy and terrorism, said Sheikh Hasina, who was targeted to be
killed several times after she returned from exile following brutal  assassination of her father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
”We brought out rallies against terrorism and militancy in the country on that day but we did not see any activities of the law enforcing agencies there. Police always kept us encircled whenever we organised meetings and processions, but on that day, there were no police activities”, she recalled adding that the deadly incident also damaged her hearing ability.
Even after the grenade attack, police did not come to help us, rather they charged batons and lobbed tear gas shells on those Awami League activists who came to rescue the victims, an emotion-chocked Sheikh Hasina said.
Questioning the police actions, the prime minister said, ”Definitely police did these to help the killers to escape. The injured victims were not given treatment. There were no doctors in Dhaka Medical College Hospital. Bangabandhu Medical College Hospital did not want to admit the injured activists.”
The then government staged ‘Judge Miah’ drama instead of identifying the real culprits involved, Sheikh Hasina said alleged posing  a question, ”Was it possible for Judge Miah alone to carry so many grenades?”  “What role did the intelligence agencies and police personnel play on the day of the grenade attack? Why didn’t they try to arrest any of the attackers? Rather, they helped them to escape the scene,” Hasina said.
Remembering Ivy Rahman, Mohammad Hanif, Ada Chacha and other victims, she recalled,’’ As soon as I finished my speech  and was leaving the stage, the grenade attack was launched. The grenades were blasted one after another. Twelve to thirteen grenades  exploded there. Hanif Bhai formed a human shield to protect me. Splinters of grenades pierced his body. He was bleeding and his blood was soaking me.”
Prior to delivering her speech, Sheikh Hasina placed floral wreaths at the monument as the head of the government and then once again as the party chief.
A one-minute silence was observed and a special prayer was offered seeking divine blessing for the 21 August martyrs.
Awami League general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam, presidium member Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, Obaidul Quader, advisory council member Tofail Ahmed, Suranjit Sengupta, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal president Hasanul Haq Inu, Workers Party president Rashed Khan Menon, among others, were present there.
Later Jatiya Somajtantrik Dal, Workers Party and different fronts and allies of the ruling party placed floral wreaths at the monument.
Later in the evening, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina hosted an Iftar party for the injured of the August 21 grenade attack and the family members of those killed.
A munajat was offered before the Iftar held at Ganobhaban, seeking divine blessings for the progress of the nation and salvation of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family members killed on August 15, 1975.
Before taking Iftar, the Prime Minister went round the venue and exchanged pleasantries with the guests.
AL advisory council member Suranjit Sengupta, presidium members Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir and Sheikh Selim, state minister Dr Hasan Mahmud, Dhaka City AL general secretary Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya and president Zilur Rahman’s son Nazmul Ahsan Papan, MP, were, among others, present.


Courtesy of The Independent

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