'Punish attackers, stamp out terrorism' | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, August 21, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, August 21, 2009

5th Anniversary of Grenade Attack on AL Rally

'Punish attackers, stamp out terrorism'

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and other Awami League leaders stand in solemn silence after placing wreaths at a memorial to the victims of August 21 grenade attack in front of the party office at Bangabandhu Avenue in the city yesterday.Photo: STAR

Awami League (AL) and its associate organisations observed the fifth anniversary of heinous grenade attack on an AL rally at Bangabandhu Avenue yesterday, calling for exemplary punishment to the attackers and pledges to root out terrorism.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid a wreath at the temporary monument in memory of the deceased in front of the party's central office in the city. Security forces took special measures in and around the Bangabandhu Avenue from Thursday night.
The lethal attack on the rally on August 21 in 2004 left at least 24 people killed and over 100 injured which still haunts the nation. Those killed include former Dhaka mayor Mohammad Hanif and AL's then women affairs secretary Ivy Rahman.
It is believed that the attack was an attempt to kill the AL chief Hasina during the four-party alliance government. She survived the attack but had her ears damaged from the blasts.
To mark the day, various organisations and the relatives of the deceased staged protest rallies in the city and elsewhere in the country.
Speakers at a rally at Bangabandhu Avenue said the influential figures of the BNP-Jamaat acted behind those accused in the grenade attack and they actually played the role in diverting the investigation of the then detective officials.
A special team should be formed to investigate into the cases and punish the criminals, they said.
Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad brought out a mourning procession from Eskaton to Bangabandhu Avenue, laid wreaths at the temporary monument in memory of the deceased and arranged special prayers for peace of the departed souls of the martyrs.
Amra Muktijoddhar Santan, a platform of the children of freedom fighters, brought out a procession, demanding immediate arrest of BNP leader Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury for his indecent behaviour.
Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote led by Tarana Halim MP and Arun Sarker Rana placed wreaths at the monument. It also organised a discussion at Dhaka Reporters' Unity. They observed a minute's silence in respect of the deceased.
Speaking as the chief guest, State Minister for Liberation War Affairs Capt (retd) AB Tazul Islam said the August 21 attack was clearly made on the life of Hasina. The anti-liberation forces, who were defeated in '71, made the attack.
“There was an instigation of BNP behind the attack. This syndicate of BNP-Jamaat-Shibir must be tried in the soil of Bangla,” he said.
Tarana Halim, MP said it has to be investigated if BNP chief Khaleda Zia had any hand in the grenade attack. “If not that, why she did not identify the attackers and try them?” Tarana posed a question.
The goal of the August 21 attack was to destroy the progress of independence, democracy, peace and development, she said, adding that the then alliance government tried to save the attackers and let them flee.
AL Companiganj upazila organised a protest rally at Basurhat Rupali Circle where its leaders demanded hanging of the attackers of August 21 and SQ Chowdhury.
Rajbari district AL at its office organised a discussion and milad mahfil on the occasion.
Bangladesh Islami Oikya Jote Chairman Misbahur Rahman in a statement said conspirators gathered strength to kill Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and attack his daughter Hasina, as the war criminals were not tried.

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