Khaleda, her son involved: PM

August 22, 2014

Aug 21 Grenade Attacks
Khaleda, her son involved: PM
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday pledged to save the nation from the ‘murderous family’ of Ziaur Rahman, which, she said, was involved in the August 15 carnage and the bloody August 21 grenade attacks. ‘BNP leader Khaleda Zia, her son and her ministers were directly involved in the grenade attacks on August 21, 2004, the way her husband Ziaur Rahman was involved in the August 15, 1975 carnage,’ Hasina said.
The prime minister, at a discussion in front of the Awami League central office on Bangabandhu Avenue after paying tributes to the August 21 martyrs, said, ‘The nation will have to be saved from the hands of this family [Zia family]. There will be no place for this family on the soil of Bangladesh.’
Hasina, who had survived the brazen attacks, said there was no doubt the then BNP- Jamaat government had been directly involved in it.
Substantiating her claims, she said Awami League was scheduled to hold its anti-terrorism rally at Muktangan, but the BNP-Jamaat government gave the permission at 11:00pm on August 20 to hold the rally on Bangabandhu Avenue instead of Muktangan on August 21.
Besides, Tarique Rahman had stayed at his father-in-law’s residence for quite some time before the grenade attacks, but left the place for their then cantonment residence on August 1, just three weeks before the incident, Hasina said.
‘It is clear that such a brazen attack cannot be mounted without the government’s backing. It was a planned attack and there is no doubt about it…,’ she said, adding that the ‘killer family’ of Zia wanted to trample the people’s desire by killing people, burning property and plundering wealth. She said the ‘crimes’ committed by BNP-Jamaat before the January 5 elections in the name of resisting the polls, amounted to ‘crimes against humanity’.
The prime minister said that although it was the moral responsibility of a government and the law enforcement agencies to act quickly to save the victims in case of such attacks, but on-duty law men did not do so after the grenade attacks; rather they had charged batons on the Awami League activists who were trying to take the victims to hospitals.
She said that the then BNP-Jamaat government had not taken any preventive measures; rather they destroyed all evidence by washing the spot shortly after the attacks and also destroyed the lone live grenade left by the attackers.
Recalling her brush with death, Hasina, who was leader of the opposition in parliament at that time, said that the attackers had targeted her the moment she was leaving the stage mounted on a truck.
‘The first three grenades exploded and after a while nine to 10 more grenades went off one after another… It is difficult to recount what was happening… It seemed as if doomsday had arrived. The party leaders, including [Mohammad] Hanif and [Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury] Maya raised a human shield around me and saved me from the attack,’ she said.
The prime minister said that the attackers had fired at her and one Mahbub who was whisking her into her car amid the attack was killed.
She said 22 AL leaders and activists, including Ivy Rahman, and two other unidentified persons were killed in the carnage. She paid her tributes to them.
Hasina said it was mysterious that the then prime minister Khaleda Zia had not taken any measures, neither to prevent the grenade attacks nor to bring the perpetrators to book.
‘But her [Khaleda] objective was clear. Before the grenade attacks, she had said that I would never be able to form the government again, and not even the opposition leader in parliament,’ Hasina said wondering under what blueprint Khaleda had made such predictions.
The prime minister said that the then BNP-Jamaat government had not allowed the Awami League lawmakers to discuss the grenade attacks in parliament and the BNP leaders amused all by claiming that the grenades were ‘kept hidden in my vanity bag’.
Hasina said that Khaleda had visited the dying Ivy Rahman at CMH simply to deceive the people by having the picture published.
The prime minister said her government did never sponsor the extremists rather eliminated them from the soil of Bangladesh.
She said that the defeated forces never wanted Bangladesh to march forward and they were still hatching conspiracies against the country.
The prime minister called on the party’s leaders and activists to stay alert to thwart the defeated forces and their masters.
Awami League presidium member Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury presided over the discussion while party general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam moderated it. Central leaders of Awami League and its alliance partners and cabinet members attended the meeting among others.

-Input from New Age

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