21 August grenade attack sign of BNP’s vindictive politics: Hasan

Information and broadcasting minister Hasan MahmudBSS

Information and broadcasting minister Hasan Mahmud on Sunday said the August 21 grenade attack was a horrifying example of killing and revenge of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) born through the politics of killing.

“The brutal grenade attacks were carried out on 21 August, 2004 in broad daylight in front of Awami League central office at 23 Bangabandhu Avenue conducted by ‘Hawa Bhaban’ and Tarique Rahman with Begum Khaleda Zia being aware of it and under the direct patronisation of the then government to kill the then opposition leader and incumbent prime minister Sheikh Hasina. The ill political stunts would not be stopped if BNP and their collaborators Jamaat and militant groups are still in power,” he said.

The minister told reporters at the meeting room of his ministry at Secretariat in the capital.

Hasan, who also witnessed the attack and sustained splinters injury, said Bangabandhu’s daughter Sheikh Hasina survived miraculously on that day. But, 24 AL leaders and activists including Ivy Rahman were killed while about 500 AL men including six lawmakers were injured in the attack, he added.

Even, he said, many were crippled. Begum Khaleda Zia and her party didn’t allow to adopt a condemnation motion in the attack in parliament rather they ridiculously told the House that “our leader (AL) carried the grenades in her vanity bag”, he added.

The minister said grenades were found at different places including in prison after the incident. Later, it was known that the prisoners were taken from the jail and they were made involved in the gruesome attack, he said, adding, even the killers of Bangabandhu assassination were brought in the country before the attack.

He said the killers left the country when they heard that Bangabandhu’s daughter survived the attack and Begum Khaleda Zia arranged it. Even, she (Begum Zia) didn’t give any approval to DGFI to probe the incident, said Hasan, also Awami League joint general secretary.

The minister said Ziaur Rahman had violated the human rights extremely through enacting indemnity ordinance to stop the trial of Bangabandhu murder, the killing of hundreds of armed soldiers and killing of AL leaders and activists.

BNP also killed innocent people through patrol bombs and arson attacks in 2013 to 2015 and torched several villages for its people to vote for AL after the 2001 election, he added.

He said, shelter centers were opened at different places of the country including 23 Bangabandhu Avenue at the time. Those incidents are the biggest violation of human rights in the country’s history and the people of the country want answers from BNP for all these human rights violations, he added.

Replying to a question, Hasan said the BNP often claimed that people were disappeared. But, later, they were found and it has proved that the BNP’s accusation of disappearance is not true at all, he added.

He said BNP killed their leader Jamal Uddin of Anowara in Chattogram. But, now they (BNP) are trying to create confusion among the people, he added.

Replying to another question over the comments of foreign minister, Hasan said, “People are the source of power of our party and we believe in that. Awami League goes to the power and conduct the government through people’s choice. We believe that none but the people can make the government continue and give the responsibility of running the state. The foreign minister has claimed that his statement had been distorted. Besides, the government or party is not responsible for his comment."