Update November 28, 2018

Dhaka 10-27 pm, 09-August, 2020

Aug 21 grenade attack case documents reach HC

Mirajul Moin Joy

All the records of the two cases filed over the August 21 grenade attack on an Awami League rally in the capital in 2004 were sent to the High Court on Tuesday.

Stenographer of the Speedy Trial Tribunal-1 of Dhaka Oliur Rahman, which delivered the verdict in the case, submitted the 37,385-page document around 2:30pm.

On October 10, a speedy trial tribunal sentenced 19 people, including former State Minister for Home Lutfozzaman Babar and former Deputy Minister for Education Abdus Salam Pintu, to death while 19 others, including BNP acting Chairman Tarique Rahman, to life imprisonment in two cases filed over the August 21 grenade attack on an Awami League rally in the capital in 2004.

Besides, 11 people were awarded different jail terms in the sensational cases, said Public Prosecutor Mosharraf Hossain Kajal.

Judge Shahed Nuruddin of the Speedy Trial Tribunal-1 at Old Dhaka’s Nazimuddin Road pronounced the verdict around 12:13 pm after a long wait for over 14 years.

The others who were awarded death penalty are then DGFI Director Major General (retd) Rezzakul Haider Chowdhury, then NSI Brigadier General (retd) Abdur Rahim, Mohammad Hanif, Mohammad Rafiqul Islam, Sheikh Abdus Salam, Abdul Mazed, Maulana Shawkat Osman, Mahibullah alias Mafizur Rahman, Maulana Abu Taher, Maulana Abu Sayeed, Mohammad Jahangir Alam, Abul Kalam Azad, Mainuddin Sheikh alias Abu Zandal, Ujjal alias Ratan, Hossain Ahmed Tanim, Sheikh Abdus Salam and Abdul Malek.

All of the condemned convicts were also fined Tk 1 lakh each.

The other lifers are Shahadat Ullah alias Jewel, Maulana Abdur Rauf, Sabbir Ahmed, Tarik Hasan Sumon, Hafez Maulana Yeahia, Abu Bakkar, Ariful Islam, Mahibul Muttakin, Anisul Mursalin, Mohammad Khalil, Jahangir Alam Badar, Iqbal, Liton, then Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s political secretary Abul Harris Chowdhury, Shah Moazzem Hossain Kaikobad, Mufti Shafiqur Rahman, Mufti Abdul Hye and Ratul Ahmed.

They were also fined Tk 50,000 each and they will have to serve one more year in jail in case of failure to pay the penalty.

The tribunal sentenced former IGPs Ashraful Huda and Khuda Baksh Chowdhury, Shahidul Haque, Lt Commander (retd) Saiful Islam Duke, Lt Colonel (retd) Saiful Islam Zoardar, Major General (retd) ATM Amin, ex-DIG Khan Sayeed Hasan, former police supers Obaidur Rahman Khan and Ruhul Amin, ASPs Abdur Rashid and Musnhi Atiqur Rahman to two years’ imprisonment.

They were also fined Tk 50,000 each, in default, to suffer six months more in jail.

Of the convicts, Tarique Rahman, Mursalin, Mahibul, Khalil, Jahangir, Iqbal, Liton, then Prime Minister Political Harris Chowdhury, Kaikobad, Shafiqur, Abdul Hye, Ratul, Saiful Islam, ATM Amin and Sayeed Hasan were tried in absentia.

Of the charge-sheeted accused, Jamaat secretary general Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, and militant leaders Mufti Abdul Hannan and Sharif Shahedul Alam alias Bipul–were dropped from the cases as they had been executed after convictions in other cases.

On August 21, 2004, the grisly grenade attack was carried out on an anti-terrorism rally arranged by Awami League at Bangabandhu Avenue during the BNP-Jamaat alliance’s rule, aiming to kill then opposition leader Sheikh Hasina.

At least 24 leaders and activists, including AL’s women affairs secretary and late President Zillur Rahman’s wife Ivy Rahman, were killed and 300 others injured in the grenade attack.

Although Sheikh Hasina fortunately escaped the attack unhurt, her hearing was affected badly.

At least 13 grenades were thrown from the rooftops of a nearby building soon after Sheikh Hasina had finished her speech at the rally.

Then the two cases — one under the Explosive Substances Act and another for murder — were filed in connection with the grenade attack.

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