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21 August, 2019 12:55:31 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 21 August, 2019 02:01:58 PM
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Survivors want speedy execution of verdicts

AUGUST 21 GRENADE ATTACK
Abu Jakir, Dhaka
Survivors want speedy execution of verdicts

The survivors of the August 21 grenade attack incident have demanded speedy execution of the verdict against the 38 convicts, including BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman and former top intelligence officials. They also demanded the government to bring back Tarique Rahman, who is at present staying in London, to Bangladesh to face punishment. They said he had masterminded the gruesome attack on an Awami League rally that killed 24 people and left over 300 injured.

The attack had taken place on the AL headquarters on Bangabandhu Avenue. AL chief Sheikh Hasina, then the opposition leader, had narrowly escaped death with injuries to her right ear. Ivy Rahman, wife of late president Zillur Rahman, was among the dead.

Altaf Hossain Biplob, a survivor and also a prosecution witness, told The Independent yesterday that his sole desire was to ensure justice for those who were killed as well as who became physically crippled and mentally traumatized by the attack.

“Now our party is in power. I don’t want anything from the government; I only want speedy execution of the verdict. If the culprits are punished, I will get some relief,” he said.

Biplob, also a member of AL central subcommittee, called upon the government to ensure that the BNP acting chairman was brought back to Bangladesh to face punishment.

He said, “I don’t want any financial assistance from our party chief, but I want to ask her to reward us by placing us in good party positions.”

Recalling the attack, the AL young leader, who has been living with splinters in his body, said, “It was terrible. It is not possible to explain it in words as to how a political party hatched a conspiracy to destroy another political party.”

Bazlur Rahman, another survivor, said the verdict on the heinous attack was delivered after 14 years and now they wanted its speedy execution.

“I urge the government to bring back home all the convicted persons hiding abroad, including Tarique Rahman, and ensure their punishment as soon as possible,” he added.

Bazlur, who is also the senior vice president of the AL’s Dhaka North city unit, called upon the head of states of different countries to help the present Sheikh Hasina government to ensure justice by extraditing the culprits.

He expressed satisfaction over the way AL chief Sheikh Hasina had taken care of the survivors and helped them. Another survivor,

Mahbuba Parvin said living has been a curse to her since the heinous attack. She has been living with almost 1,800 splinters in her body, including two in the brain. “It would have been better if I had died that day. Now every moment of life seems like death,” she added.

“I want justice,” said Mahbuba, senior vice-president of Dhaka district Swechchhasebak League.

Other survivors like Rashida Akhter Ruma and Shahanara Yesmin echoed the demand for quick justice are the same. They want justice of the country’s one of gruesome attacks.

On October 10 last year, a Dhaka special court had convicted Tarique Rahman and all the other accused in the case filed under the Explosives Substance Act and handed down various punishments for them.

While former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar and 18 others were sentenced to death for murder through criminal conspiracy, Tarique and 18 others were sentenced to life imprisonment.

In addition, all the convicts were sentenced to life term imprisonment for causing grievous injuries to the survivors.

 The attack and the aftermath

Hasina was the last speaker at the rally, which was organized to protest against violence and terrorism.

As soon she ended her speech and posed for photos at the requests of journalists, grenades started raining down all around.

A day after the attack, Motijheel police lodged a case against unnamed people.

A few months later, senior CID officials made up the farcical “Joj Mia” story and detained the man from Noakhali along with 20 petty criminals.

Joj Mia and two others were forced to give statements confessing their “involvement” in the attack, investigations later found.

The actual identities of the detainees were later revealed by the media and the ludicrous nature of the investigation was exposed by the end of 2004.

After the caretaker government took office, the CID submitted two separate charge sheets in June 2007, accusing 22 people, including Huji chief Mufti Hannan and Abdus Salam Pintu.

The trial began after charges were framed against them in October that year and the court recorded testimonies of 61 prosecution witnesses. But, following the prosecution’s petition, the court in August 2009 ordered further investigation and a new investigation officer was assigned.

In July 2011, the CID submitted a supplementary charge sheet, accusing 30 more people, including Tarique and Babar, taking the total number of accused to 52.

MK/BK

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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