Syed Ashraful Islam addressing a rally at Awami League central office on Bangabandhu Avenue marking the anniversary of August 17 countrywide series bomb attacks. Photo: TV grab
Awami League spokesperson Syed Ashraful Islam today alleged that BNP Chairperson and the then prime minister Khaleda Zia was aware of the August 17 countrywide series bomb attacks.
"We have evidence that Khaleda Zia was not only aware of the attacks, she also gave all-out support to the attackers and through the attacks, militant organisations declared a war against the nation," he said at a rally in the capital.
Dhaka City unit of the AL organised the rally at the party’s central office on Bangabandhu Avenue marking the anniversary of bomb attacks.
On the day in 2005, around 500 bombs went off at 300 locations in 63 out of the 64 districts of the country. The bombs exploded in half an hour from 11:30am and Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) claimed the responsibility.
"Khaleda Zia wanted to build militant outfits like al-Qaeda, IS and Taliban in Bangladesh like in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan and the August 21 grenade attack was the part of her desire," Ashraf, also the LGRD minister said.
The AL leader accused BNP founder late president Ziaur Rahman of assassinating Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman saying that Anthony Mascarenhas, former assistant editor of Karachi-based Morning News, wrote a book where he described the uprising of Zia. In this regard, Ashraf mentioned a report of The Daily Star published on Saturday.
"Zia's aim was to create a political force by killing Bangabandhu and his family members. But it is unfortunate for Khaleda Zia that Zia's dream was not fully implemented as Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana were abroad and escaped from the massacre," the AL general secretary said.
AL leaders Matia Chowdhury, Shahara Khatun, Mahabubul Alam Hanif and Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya also spoke on the occasion.