Perpetrators of Aug 21 grenade attack wanted to make AL leaderless: Obaidul Quader
Awami League (AL) General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Saturday said the deadly bullet of the 'August 15 carnage' in 1975 came back once again through the 'August 21 grenade attack' in 2004 to make the party leaderless.
"The main objective of the 'August 21 grenade attack' was to make the party AL leaderless as they (perpetrators of August 21) wanted to eliminate the spirit of 71'. Thus, deadly bullet of 75' came back to 'August 21 grenade attack' in 2004 again," he said.
The road transport and bridges minister made the remarks at a discussion at the AL's central office on Bangabandhu Avenue in the capital on the occasion of the 17th anniversary of the 'August 21 grenade attack', reports BSS.
"We wanted to hold the rally at Muktangan on this day in 2004," the minister said, adding that but, AL was not allowed to hold it there and later, the grenade attack was carried out in the rally.
Following the deadly attack, police did not come for any assistance, he said, adding that instead of helping, police lobbed tear gas canisters and resorted to charging batons on AL leaders and workers during that time.
“After the incident, the BNP-Jamaat alliance or the four-party alliance government formed a judicial probe committee to make farce to people which later blamed a neighbouring country for the heinous attack,” Quader said.
He said the four-party alliance government led by Khaleda Zia had done everything to obstruct the trial and investigation of the August 21 grenade attack.
The exemplary punishment of those involved in the barbaric grenade attack will be given after executing the verdict and the masterminds who are staying abroad, will be brought back home to ensure proper justice, he continued.
Quader said the gruesome grenade attack was carried out at an anti-terrorism rally of Awami League (AL) on Bangabandhu Avenue in the capital on August 21, 2004, aiming to bankrupt the party leadership during the BNP-Jamaat alliance government.
“With the grace of the Almighty, the then opposition leader and incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and other front-ranking AL leaders narrowly escaped the carnage,” he added.
But, 24 people including the then Women Affairs Secretary of Awami League and wife of late President Zillur Rahman, Ivy Rahman, were killed and over 500 others injured in the attack and many of them became crippled for life, the minister said.