On the 10th anniversary of the August 21, 2004 grenade attack, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina consoles a victim on Bangabandhu Avenue yesterday. Photo: PMO
BNP founder Ziaur Rahman was behind the Bangabandhu murder on August 15, 1975, and his family was involved in the August 21, 2004, grenade attack, said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
At a public meeting on the 10th anniversary of the grenade attack on an Awami League rally on Bangabandhu Avenue, she accused the then prime minister Khaleda Zia, her son, her cabinet members and Jamaat leaders of the attack.
She blamed the law enforcement agencies for playing a dubious role. Instead of protecting the injured leaders and activists of her party, they charged truncheons and used teargas on the victims, she said.
She also blamed BNP-minded doctors for not treating the injured at Dhaka Medical College Hospital and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University.
Recalling the horrifying day, an emotion-choked Hasina said, "After the attack, I lost my glasses and I couldn't see.
"I was the target, only Allah saved me from the attack."
She said she wished Allah had taken her life instead, and spared the ones who died.
It was an irony that the Awami League's anti-terrorism rally in 2004 was attacked with grenades, Hasina said.
Branding the family of Ziaur Rahman “a killer and corrupt family", Hasina yesterday said there would be no room for them in Bangladesh.
"As Zia was involved in the killing of Bangabandhu on August 15, 1975, the then prime minister [Khaleda Zia], her son [Tarique Rahman], her cabinet members and leaders were directly involved in the August 21 grenade attack. There is no question about this," she said.
"Before August 21, Tarique Rahman was at his father-in-law's house in Dhanmondi. Why was he there instead of his cantonment home?" she said.
Recalling August 15, 1975, when Father of the Nation Bangabandhu and most of his family members were assassinated, the Awami League president said, "Major Dalim, Rashid, those who were directly involved in the heinous killing had later said that they discussed their plan with Zia and Zia was aware of everything. They also said Zia encouraged and assured them of all assistance but did not want to come to the forefront."
Those who had not accepted the country's independence and wanted to make Bangladesh a province of Pakistan were still hatching conspiracies, Hasina said, asking people to be alert about their plots.
She also urged all to be careful about those who harm people, the party, and the country for their personal gain.
Awami League presidium member Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury presided over the rally attended by almost all the central leaders of the party.
Only Hasina spoke yesterday.
Before addressing the rally, she placed a wreath at the makeshift memorial on Bangabandhu Avenue. The party observed a one-minute silence at 5:22pm, the time the first grenade exploded.
After her address, she enquired about the families of the party leaders killed and talked to the ones who were injured.
After Hasina left, Bangabandhu Avenue was open to all. People placed wreaths at the memorial.