Perpetrators carried out the grenade attack on August 21, 2004 when the BNP was in power. The then government allegedly made all efforts to protect the masterminds behind the attack, which was aimed at assassinating Sheikh Hasina, who was then opposition leader in parliament.
Hasina narrowly escape the attack, but 24 Awami League leaders and workers were killed and 300 others were injured in the blasts.
“This is not the end, they will make further attempts as they have tried it once, they will not leave us alone,” Hasina said while holding her sister Rehana close to her.
READ more: Assassination attempt on Hasina
“They paused after blasting eight to ten bombs,” she told ATN Bangla television in an interview which was made available on YouTube. Shots were also fired at my vehicle when I got on it, she added.
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Hasina in the interview alleged that the attackers were desperate in their attempts so that she couldn’t escape from the spot alive.
“Where did this grenades come from? How they were brought? How they were blasted? These issues should be investigated specially,” she said.
They (the then BNP-Jamaat government) talk of religion but they are not handing over the bodies for burial, she alleged.
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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 leaders at the 2004 rally had built a human shield to protect her life, Hasina said, adding that in broad daylight grenades had been thrown one after another at the AL rally organised to protest an earlier grenade attack on former British high commissioner Anwar Chowdhury.