Aug 21 grenade attack couldn’t have happened without then govt’s patronage: PM


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said it's not possible to carry out an attack like that on August 21, 2004 had there been no direct patronage from the then BNP-Jamaat government.

"They (BNP-Jamaat government) thought that I had been killed (in the grenade attack), but when they came to know that I didn't die, they allowed four criminals to flee the country," she said.

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She said the then BNP-Jamaat government assembled terrorists and militants for carrying out the attack and gave them safe passage to flee.

Sheikh Hasina made the allegation while addressing a discussion marking the August 21, 2004 grenade attack.

Awami League organized the event at its central office on Bangabandhu Avenue. The Prime Minister attended the event virtually from her official residence Gono Bhaban.

"No one imagined that there would be an Arges grenade attack (on the rally), attempting to kill in broad daylight," she said.

Recalling the barbaric carnage, Sheikh Hasina alleged that then Prime Minister Khaleda Zia and her government staged the grenade attack.

She said that Bangabandhu's killers Dalim and Rashid were among the criminals while the other two were militant Tajul and one jailer.

After the attack, she said, police lobbed teargas shells and charged baton on AL leaders and workers instead of rescuing the victims.

Hasina said BNP-Jamaat supporting doctors did not attend to the injured AL leaders and activists at Dhaka Medical College Hospital and no patient was allowed to enter Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University.

Referring to some remarks made by Khaleda Zia before the grisly grenade attack and planting of twin bombs -- one 76 kg and another 84 kg -- in Kotalipara, the Prime Minister said, "Before every attack, Khaleda Zia used to say Awami League won't be able to go to power in 100 years. And right before the grenade attack, she said Sheikh Hasina would never even be leader of the opposition."

The then government destroyed the evidence of the gruesome attack while an army officer faced trouble as he wanted to preserve an unexploded grenade used in the attack, she said. "They tried to erase all the evidence."

"And everyone knows about the drama staged by the then government," she said, pointing to the Joj Mia episode which was later proven false.

The Prime Minister said the then BNP-Jamaat government did not allow AL to even discuss the incident in parliament, although many of the injured were MPs and she was the leader of the opposition.

She said that Almighty Allah repeatedly saved her from various types of attacks, including on August 15 and August 21, to materialise something that only He knows.

Referring to the ongoing pandemic, she said that the government always remains by the people of the country as it strictly follows the ideology of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

"InshAllah, we will be able to establish a developed and prosperous 'Golden Bangladesh' that was dreamt of by the Father of the Nation," she said.

AL presidium member Matia Chowdhury, general secretary Obaidul Quader, joint secretary Dr. Hassan Mahmud, AL central working committee member Dr Mostafa Jalal Mohiuddin, organizing secretary SM Kamal Hossain, Awami League's Dhaka South unit president Abu Ahmed Mannafi and Dhaka North unit president Sheikh Bazlur Rahman also spoke at the programme joined by senior leaders of the party.

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