AL demands proper probe | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 21, 2007 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 21, 2007

AL demands proper probe

Awami League (AL) yesterday demanded proper investigation into the August 21 grenade attack of 2004 on an AL rally and exemplary punishment to those who had "direct or indirect links" in the onslaught.
"The present caretaker government has taken many initiatives but it has not yet taken any initiative [to punish the perpetrators] for the 21 August grenade attack. We urge them [the government] to take measurers in this regard and punish the real culprits," said Zillur Rahman, acting president of the AL, during a press conference at his Gulshan residence.
To observe the day, AL will place wreaths at a temporary memorial in front of the AL headquarters on Bangabandhu Avenue today. It will also arrange special prayers for the salvation of the departed souls.
Other political parties including Workers Party of Bangladesh and Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal will observe the day separately.
On this day in 2004, a barrage of grenade blasts on an anti-terror rally of the AL killed twenty-four people including AL leader Ivy Rahman and wounded over 400 others. Almost the entire leadership of the party was present in the rally. Party chief Sheikh Hasina narrowly escaped the attack.
Briefing the journalists yesterday, Zillur accused the past BNP-Jamaat coalition government of staging the dreadful attack on the AL rally. Primary objective of the attack was to kill Sheikh Hasina, he said.
He alleged that even though the grenade attack was launched in the presence of law enforcement agencies, they did not arrest the perpetrators. "They even helped the attackers flee the scene. To save the attackers, evidences of the attack were also destroyed," Zillur claimed.
He said the alliance government did not even accept AL's case against the attackers since they [BNP-Jamaat] were involved in the attack.
Zillur branded the cases filed against former prime minister and AL President Sheikh Hasina conspiratorial, false and fabricated. The AL leader demanded immediate withdrawal of the cases and unconditional release of Hasina so that the rule of law can follow its natural course.
"Those who tried to turn Bangladesh into a failed state through killing, repression, extortion, corruption and terrorism are now conspiring to mislead the nation about father of the nation Bangabandhu's place [in history]," he added.
Hinting at Jamaat-e-Islami, Zillur said, "Instead of arresting the ones with specific allegations for patronising militants, extortion and corruption, an adviser was speaking in their favour. This is saddening and unwarranted."
Meanwhile, AL presidium member Abdur Razzak told journalists at his Nakhalpara residence that questions can be raised about the neutrality of the caretaker government following the remarks made by a few of its advisers. "The comments made by one or two advisers have recently raised questions about the neutral stand of the caretaker government," he said.
AL leaders Motia Chowdhury, Ataur Rahman Khan Kaiser, Abdul Mannan, Aktaruzzaman, Mostofa Jalal Mohiuddin, Nazma Rahman, Dr Hasan Mahmud, Yefes Osman, Khairuzzaman Liton, Habibur Rahman Seraj, Dr Dipu Moni and BM Mojammel Hossain were present during Zillur Rahman's press conference.

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