POST TIME: 11 October, 2018 00:00 00 AM
A revenge ploy by govt, says BNP
Party calls 7-day programmes to protest verdict
Staff Reporter

A revenge ploy by govt, says BNP

The BNP yesterday rejected the grenade attack case verdict that awarded life sentence to party acting chairman Tarique Rahman.

“The verdict is dictated, politically motivated and a naked manifestation of the Awami League’s (AL's) political vengeance. We reject this verdict,” BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Alamgir told reporters immediately after pronouncement of the verdict.

Earlier, a speedy trial tribunal awarded the death sentence to 19 people, including former state minister Lutfozzaman Babar and former deputy minister Abdus Salam Pintu, and sentenced 19 others, including Tarique Rahman, to life-term in prison for the grenade attack on AL chief Sheikh Hasina’s rally on August 21, 2004.

Also yesterday, BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi announced a weeklong programme to protest against the verdict.

As part of the programme, the BNP will hold protest rallies at the city, district and upazila levels, including Dhaka, today and bring out black flag processions across the country on October 16.

Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, an associate outfit of the BNP, will stage countrywide demonstrations on October 13. Jubo Dal, the party’s youth front, will stage a similar protest on October 14 and Swechchhasebak Dal on October 15. Besides, Jatiyatabadi Mohila Dal will hold human chain programmes across the country on October 17 followed by Sramik Dal on October 18.

In the party’s instant reaction, Fakhrul said: “It’s yet another example of the government extracting political revenge by using the judiciary.”

The BNP leader claimed that Sheikh Hasina, the then opposition leader and an eyewitness, had not made any allegation against Tarique Rahman or the BNP in her statement recorded under Section 161. “Similarly, none of 62 eyewitnesses uttered the name of Tarique Rahman or BNP in this connection,” he added.

After assuming power, however, the AL-led government included the names of Tarique Rahman and other BNP leaders by assigning former police officer Abdul Quahhar Akand to the investigation. This reflected the political vendetta pursued by the present government, Fakhrul alleged. The BNP leader said the people must be alert against such a vengeful attitude of the ruling party. He called everyone to wage a united movement to remove the present government.

He also said that besides the protest programme on the streets, the BNP would also tackle the situation legally.

BNP leaders Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Barrister Moudud Ahmed, Nazrul Islam Khan, Mirza Abbas and Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury were among those present at the press conference.

Meanwhile, the BNP yesterday brought out protest rallies in different districts describing the August 21st grenade attack verdict motivated and out of political vengeance.

Speaking at the rallies, the BNP leaders rejected the court verdict saying that the verdict has been given as part of conspiracy to destroy the family of late president Ziaur Rahman.   They also alleged that the government’s indicated verdict did not reflect justice.  The districts where BNP brought out processions include Rajshahi, Chattogram, Barishal, Cumilla, Jamalpur, Joypurhat and Noakhali.

In Dhaka, Dhaka College unit of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal led by its vice president Al-Amin yesterday brought out a sudden procession from in front of Labaid Hospital in the city protesting the verdict.