Aug 21 carnage: Who did it? (video) | The Daily Star
07:42 PM, August 20, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:07 PM, August 22, 2015

Aug 21 carnage: Who did it? (video)

The gruesome killing on August 21, 2004 was one of the most shocking political crimes in the country's history. But what is more shocking is the list of the culprits behind the attack that has come into light after latest investigations.

Fifty-two people have been charge sheeted so far in the grenade attack case, including BNP Senior vice- chairman Tarique Rahman; former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar; Haris Chowdhury, former political secretary to then prime minister Khaleda Zia; Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed and former BNP deputy minister Abdus Salam Pintu.

Also WATCH: Sheikh Hasina on Aug 21 carnage

Tarique, the elder son of BNP Chairperson Khaleda, is now living in London since 2008 and 18 other accused in the case are on the run.
The further investigation revealed the grisly attack was an outcome of collaboration between the militant outfit Huji, influential leaders of the BNP and the Jamaat-e-Islami, and a band of senior officials of the home ministry, police, Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI), National Security Intelligence (NSI) and Prime Minister's Office (PMO). They were indicted in the case and are now facing trial.

WATCH more: Grenade attack on AL rally in Aug 21, 2004

Huji leaders, according to the supplementary charge sheet, met Tarique Rahman, elder son of former premier Khaleda and BNP senior vice chairman, a few days before the August 21 grenade attack and got the go-ahead to carry out the blasts.
The Daily Star received a video of Huji leader Mufti Abdul Hannan where he gave detailed description of the meeting, but we are not using the content as the case is still under trial.

Also WATCH: August 21 carnage: Living with pain and trauma

Lutfozzaman Babar, then state minister for home, Harris Chowdhury, political secretary to then prime minister Khaleda Zia, Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, secretary general of Jamaat-e-Islami and the then social welfare minister, NSI director general Brig Gen Abdur Rahim and DGFI director Brig Gen Rezzaqul Haider Chowdhury were present at that meeting at Hawa Bhaban, popularly known as an alternative centre of power during  BNP rule, in the capital's Banani.
It was also alleged by Awami League and its chief Sheikh Hasina that following the grenade explosions, police, to help the attackers flee, had fired tear gas shells and charged batons on the AL men who had been rescuing the injured.
Hasina also blamed the then BNP government of protecting the killers and even helping a number of them to leave the country. They [BNP-Jamaat] also destroyed evidence of the incident in the name of investigation, she said.
“The grisly grenade attack was aimed at diverting the people's attention from the government's success that made them worried about their future."
Then prime minister Khaleda Zia said this on Sept 2, 2004 at BNP's founding anniversary programme, making an oblique reference to the AL as being responsible for the attack. But further probe later revealed the involvement of Khaleda's son Tarique Rahman in the attack plot. Tarique has been indicted in the case as well.
“Only the enemies of the nation can launch such a barbaric attack."
Then president Iajuddin Ahmed said in a statement after the August 21 grisly grenade attack on an Awami League rally.
“The government has given utmost priority to uncovering the mystery of the August 21 grenade attack and identifying the perpetrators. The government, for the first time in the history of the country, has announced a bounty of Tk 1 crore for providing information about the perpetrators."
Then state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar, now facing trial in connection with the grenade attack, said this in parliament on September 15, 2004 during a discussion on the attack.

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