Khaleda govt plotted to conceal bodies of 21 Aug grenade attack victims: PM Hasina

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday alleged that the Khaleda Zia government which was in power during 21 August grenade attack in 2004 did not want to hand over the dead bodies of the victims to their relatives.

"Not only did they make the attempt to kill, but also carried out despicable plans with the dead bodies after killings," she said.

The prime minister said this in her introductory speech at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) held at NEC auditorium at Sher-E-Bangla Nagar.

She joined the meeting virtually from her official residence Ganobhaban.

Talking about the 17th death anniversary of Ivy Rahman, former president of Bangladesh Mahila Awami League and wife of late president M Zillur Rahman, the PM said she was taken to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) for treatment.

"I don't know when she (Ivy) died. Khaleda Zia had been there to see her. After her departure, Ivy Rahman was declared dead," she recalled.

She mentioned that Ivy Rahman's three children -- Papon (present BCB president), Tania and Moyna -- were kept under lock and key in a room for 3-4 hours while then prime minister Khaleda Zia had been there.

The prime minister said the BNP-Jamaat government also tried not to hand over the bodies of other deceased to their relatives.

Hasina said the Awami League activists had been there and they managed to hand over dead bodies to their relatives after working overnight.

From the very beginning, Hasina said, she was trying to help the families of the dead and injured of the 21 August grenade attack.

"We've been helping them from the Bangabandhu Memorial Trust," she said.

Ivy Rahman, also former president of Bangladesh Mahila Samity, received grievous injuries during the grisly grenade attack on an Awami League rally at Bangabandhu Avenue in the city on 21 August in 2004 and succumbed to her injuries on 24 August.