Update October 9, 2018

Dhaka 3-07 pm, 23-April, 2021

Police locate 8 fugitives over Aug 21 grenade attack

Mirajul Moin Joy

Eighteen of the 49 accused in the August 21, 2004 grenade attack cases are still at large and police have been able to know whereabouts of eight of them.

“We have already traced locations of eight of the fugitive accused with the help of Interpol and our missions abroad and are trying to find out the locations of 10 others,” said Abdul Kahar Akand, Additional Deputy Inspector General (Addl DIG) of Criminal Investigation Department and also last Investigation Officer (IO) of the August 21 grenade attack case.

According to CID and police headquarters sources, Maulana Tajuddin and his brother Ratul Ahmed alias Ratul Babu are now in South Africa, BNP’s Acting Chairman Tarique Rahman is in London, former lawmaker Mofazzol Hossain Kaikobad in Saudi Arabia, former Major General ATM Amin and Lt Col Saiful Islam Joarder are in Dubai, two brothers and also Harkatul Jihad leaders, Mohibul Muttakin and Anisul Morchchalin, in Tihar Jail of India.

BNP Chairperson’s former special assistant Abul Harris Chowdhury is moving through Malaysia, London, Singapore, USA and India, the sources said.

However, the location of then deputy commissioners of police Khan Sayeed Hasan and Obaidur Rahman Khan, Huji leaders Mohammad Khalil, Jahangir Alam Badar, Liton alias Maulana Liton, Md Iqbal, Mufti Shafiqur Rahman (Bhairab), and Mufti Abdul Hai and owner of Hanif Paribahan, Mohammad Hanif, are yet been located.

Red notices have been served on Khan Sayeed Hasan and Obaidur Rahman Khan immediately after submission of the chargesheet. Maulana Tajuddin was served red notice on February 5 in 2015, Tarique Rahman on April 13, 2015, Harris Chowdhury on November 31 2015, and Ratul Babu on February 13, 2017.

Maulana Tajuddin was arrested by South African police in line with the red notice of Interpol and released on bail. But he is now facing trial as a trespasser in South Africa.

“The court declared them (18 accused) fugitive and 31 others are in jail while three accused have been hanged,” chief public prosecutor of the August 21 grenade attack cases, Syed Rezaur Rahman told BSS.

Three accused of the case former minister and Jamaat-e-Islami secretary general Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, and Harkatul Jihad chief Mufti Abdul Hannan and another leader of the militant outfit Shahidul Alam Bipul were hanged in the grenade attack case on British envoy Anwar Chowdhury.

The heinous attack was carried out on an anti-terrorism rally of Awami League, visibly with an aim to kill all the front ranking party leaders including its president and incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who narrowly survived sustaining permanent hearing impairment.

The other central leaders around her also miraculously escaped the attack as the assailants with grenades narrowly missed their targets.

The then Mohila Awami League President and late President Zillur Rahman’s wife, Ivy Rahman, was one of the 24 killed in the attack.

Two separate cases — one for murder and another under the explosives act – were filed with Motijheel police station the next day.

During the last caretaker government’s tenure, the first two charge sheets in the cases were placed before the court on June 9, 2008 accusing 22 people, including former deputy minister of BNP-Jamaat alliance government Abdus Salam Pintu and 21 HuJI leaders and workers.

Later on July 2 in 2011, Criminal Investigation Department (CID) submitted two separate supplementary charge sheets in the cases against 30 people after a fresh investigation. With the 30 accused, the number of the chargesheeted accused in the cases rose to 52.

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