AUG 21 GRENADE ATTACK
After 9 years, trial yet to be completedStaff Correspondent
The trial of the cases filed in connection with the August 21, 2004 grenade attack on an Awami League is yet to be completed even nine years after the incident which the current prime minister Sheikh Hasina survived with injuries but which left 24 people, including the Mahila League president Ivy Rahman, dead.
The prosecution, talking with New Age a few days ago, was, however, unwilling to set any deadline.
Depositions of only 72 out of the 491 prosecution witnesses have been recorded as of date since the trial began in October 2011 against 52 people, including Tarique Rahman, the eldest son of the BNP chairperson, Khaleda Zia, her nephew Saiful Islam Duke, the then state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar and five other BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami leaders.
The speedy trial tribunal judge Shahed Nuruddin is holding the trial of the two cases — one filed for murders and the other under the Explosive Substances Act — simultaneously in connection with the attack, which left scores maimed.
‘Whoever is in power, the trial should be fair in order to ensure justice,’ Syed Rezaur Rahman, the chief prosecution counsel, told New Age recently when he was asked about the delay in the disposal of the cases.
He, however, could not say when they would be able to complete the trial.
But Rezaur Rahman, having the status of the attorney general, said that they were trying to have more working working days a month to speed up the trial.
A lawyer close to the AL-led government told New Age that there was move to complete trial even by reducing the number of prosecution witnesses.
A former officer of the Rapid Action Battalion, Atikur Rahman, is currently being cross-examined in the case.
AKM Fakhrul Islam, defence counsel for the Harkat-ul-Jihad chief Mufti Abdul Hannan, however, told New Age that nothing should be hurried in in interest of justice as the cases are very sensitive. ‘Let the trial continue according to the law.’
The defence counsel, however, repeatedly objected to the prosecution decision of producing former intelligence officers as witnesses.
The Awami League said that the grenade attack had been carried out at an anti-terrorism rally on Bangabandhu Avenue in the capital on August 21, 2004, during the BNP-Jamaat alliance government to eliminate the party leadership.
Sheikh Hasina, the then leader of the opposition in the parliament who is now the prime minister, narrowly escaped death in the attack.
During the military-led interim regime in 2008, a court charged 22 people with murder, attempt to murder, causing injuries, criminal liability, conspiracy and hurling grenades in the two cases filed with the Motijheel police.
Among the accused, three are former inspectors general of police, two former National Security Intelligence officials, three former Criminal Investigation Department officials, two former senior police officials, and three former ranking officials of the army and the navy.
Of the 52 accused, 20 are fugitive while eight, including former IGPs Ashraful Huda, Shahudul Haque and Khoda Baksh Chowdhury are remanded on bail.
During the BNP-Jamaat government till October 2006, the investigators were out to divert the investigation to save culprits.
The Criminal Investigation Department failed to submit charge sheets although leaders of the then government claimed several times that the investigation was about to be completed and everything would be revealed.
Media reports on the cooked-up story of ‘George Mia’ brought to public attention the attempt of the then CID officials to derail the investigation.
The ruling Awami League will observe the ninth anniversary of the attack today.
As part of the programmes, the Awami League president, Sheikh Hasina, along with central leaders of her party will pay tributes to the people killed in the attack by placing wreaths at the memorial in front of the Awami League’s central office on Bangabandhu Avenue at 11:00am.
Sheikh Hasina will also attend the special prayers on Bangabandhu Avenue seeking eternal peace of the departed souls.
Hasina will also meet members of the victims’ families and join a discussion at the venue.
comments powered by Disqus
The trial of the cases filed in connection with the August 21, 2004 grenade attack on an Awami League is yet to be completed even nine years after the incident which the current prime minister Sheikh Hasina survived... Full story
The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, has approved a Petrobangla proposal to amend the model production sharing contract 2012 offering international oil companies more stakes in extracts from three hydrocarbon... Full story
The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes on Tuesday said that it could not make Bangladesh a respondent to the arbitration over the two complaints filed by Canadian oil company Niko... Full story
A Pakistani court on Tuesday charged former military ruler Pervez Musharraf with the 2007 murder of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, an unprecedented move against an ex-army chief. It is the first time a head of Pakistan’s army has been charged... Full story
Egypt’s government on Tuesday pressed its relentless campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, dealing a major new blow to the Islamist group by arresting its chief. The detention of supreme guide... Full story
Oishi Rahman, the prime suspect in the murder of her parents, SB inspector couple and his wife, was giving contradictory information on her involvement in the murder during interrogation, a Detective Branch official told New Age. Full story
The Awami League will organise a huge rally in the city by the end of this month in a show of strength before embarking on a countrywide pre-election campaign. Prime minister Sheikh Hasina, also president of the Awami League... Full story
Confusion runs high over the age of Oishi Rahman, the prime suspect in the murder of her parents Special Branch Inspector Mahfuzur Rahman and his wife Swapna Rahman, and her domestic help Khadija Khatun Sumi... Full story
Activists of Islami Chhatra Shibir, the student wing of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, on Tuesday blasted crude bombs in Dhaka and Chittagong. About 100-150 Shibir activists brought out a sudden procession on road 2 at Dhanmondi... Full story
The war crimes prosecution on Tuesday filed a contempt petition against New York based Human Rights Watch in the International Crimes Tribunal-1. The petitioner prayed for serving contempt notice on Human... Full story
Bangladesh Nationalist Party acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has said the government’s ‘plot’ to cling to power would be swept away by a ‘popular uprising’. Full story
A probe committee found that ten officials including a teacher of the directorate of secondary and higher education were involved in giving monthly pay order to nearly 300 non-government teachers illegally from May. Full story
The Appellate Division on Tuesday stayed for two weeks a High Court order that directed Rajdhani Unnayan Kartiripakkha to stop land development or monetary work for a Purbachal housing project in Gazipur... Full story
Myanmar must address anti-Muslim propaganda and stamp out a culture of impunity for religious violence or risk ‘catastrophic’ levels of conflict, a rights group warned Tuesday. Full story
Commanding general of US Army Pacific General Vincent K Brooks on Tuesday said that his country has no competition with China to take advantage of the strategic location of Bangladesh in the region. Full story
The Anti-Corruption Commission on Tuesday filed two cases against a sub-register and his wife over allegation of amassing illegal wealth. The accused are M Abdur Razzak, sub-register of Mirzapur sub-registry office in... Full story
Home minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir on Tuesday said that the ‘big fishes’ of the last military-backed caretaker government, who had been involved in corruption, would be unmasked soon. Full story
Four persons including three ward level leaders of the ruling Awami League were injured in a bomb attack on Monday night at Boyra bazar of Sonadanga in Khulna city. The injured were identified as former ward-16 unit... Full story