Barbaric Grenade Attack of 21st August

Barbaric Grenade Attack of 21st August is an article by Dr.Md. Fazlur Rahman and it is the author’s own opinion and point of view. This has nothing to do with the editorial policy or the opinion of the editorial body of Eurobangla Times.   

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Dr. Md. Fazlur Rahman : (16) “What has happened to the injured persons” Sheikh Hasina asked the leaders again and again. She repeatedly questioned that- “My party activists are lying around the street, where are you taking me in this situation?” She also added that- “If we are to die, we’ll die here ; if we’re to survive, we’ll survive this way.” It is very much tragic and heart touching that when Sheikh Hasina was expressing her sincerest concern about the worst victims, number of bodies were lying scattered on the street between the truck and the Awami League office.

(17) Therefore in pursuance of the above noted all the factual matters and affairs it can be said without any doubt and hesitation that, in the afore mentioned frightful grenade attack Sheikh Hasina was narrowly saved only by the kindness of the most beneficial, almighty Allah RabbulAlamin. Hence after Sheikh Hasina was taken to her personal residence Sudha Sadanlocated at Dhanmondi around 06:00 pm in contrast to her will and desire. Her driver Abdul Matin very cautiously and tactfully taken her aforesaid residence by avoiding serious gunshots[B.Ekushey August, 2004:Se din jaghotechilo (21st August, 2004: What has happened on that day), staff correspondent, Prothom Alo, 21-08-2018].

(18) It has already been stated that a number of leaders, activists and the security personnel combinedly and unitedly saved Sheikh Hasina by making human shield. As a result most of them have been injured seriously and critically. Among the above stated number of dedicated leaders the then Mayor of Dhaka Mohammad Hanif was one of the leaders who saved Hasina’s life. This is why he was injured severely. And for the cause of the aforesaid grievous injury Mohammad Hanif had died on 20th November 2006.

(19) It is admitted that the barbaric grenade attack has occurred on 21st August, 2004. After that treacherous attack the then general secretary of Awami League Mr. Abdul Jalil along with some leaders of his party have jointly and unitedly tried their best to lodge FIR with the concerned Ramnapolice station. But the then Officer in Charge had refused to register the same. Having been refused from Ramna Police Station they had gone to Motijheelpolice station to submit their FIR. But the then Officer in Charge had also refused to do so. As a result all of their attempts and endeavours to institute a case have gone in vain. For the cause of above noted refusal for registering the case, violation of human rights has been done and committed indeed.

(20) Afterwards 2 (two) separate cases have been filed by the then sub-inspector Faruk Hossain of Motijheelpolice station on the following day of the incident on 22nd August 2004 with thatpolice station. Among the above stated two cases one for murder and another under Explosive Substance Act. It is really very much condemnable that following the above stated attack and after the institution of above cited two cases the erstwhile BNP-Jamaat government firstly tried to derail the entire investigation by placing the blame on the Awami League. Later on they have created various types of barriers and obstacles in conducting the proper and impartial investigation of those cases in various ways and means.

(21) It is really very much painful and heart-breaking that the attackers have tried their level best to kill Sheikh Hasina on 21st August, 2004. If Hasina can escape herself from the dreadful grenade attack in any way or means, the killers have also previously arranged alternative all types of preparations to kill her on that date. Having been failed to kill her by throwing number of grenades the attackers have also fired one after another gunshots by targeting Sheikh Hasina’s car to confirm her death on the spot. On that very date they have fired as many as seven times. Therefore realising and evaluating the above stated violent grenade attack followed by again and again gunshots, anyone can very easily presume that it was a pre-planned and cold blooded attempt to murder Sheihk Hasina [B.Ekushey August, 2004:Se din jaghotechilo (21st August, 2004: What has happened on that day), staff correspondent, Prothom Alo, 21-08-2018]. But the most benevolent and almighty God has once again rescued Hasina’s life from that terrible attack.

(22) It is to be noted down here that, after the incident of horrible grenade attack on 21st August, the editor of widely circulated daily “Prothom Alo” Mr. Matiur Rahman has separately talked with Begum Khaleda Zia in presence of Tarique Rahman on 26th August at afternoon. Afterwards Mr. Matiur Rahman has written a prolonged and informative article on 21st August, 2019 in the aforesaid daily [B.Commentary Report:Emonnrishongshoghotonaar chai na (We do not want such type of cruel occurrence any more),Prothom Alo, 21-08-2019)]. In his above noted article,he has categorically asserted that, on that very date of his talking with the then Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia,she was looking very perturbed.

(23) At the time of talking with Mr. Matiur Rahman,BegumKhaleda Zia has become annoyed and excited for some time. But yet, Mr. Rahman has raised the allegation that, “Madam, you are not allowing Awami League to lodge any FIR. You are not delivering their dead bodies to them. You are not giving any permission to hold any protest meeting or expressing their mourning. Would not Awami League allowed to express their grief or woeful versions?” In response to the above stated number of questions Khaleda Zia has expressed in the excited mood that, “Awami League would not be allowed to do anything. If necessary, they will be punished. They will not be allowed to create the situation like 1996.”

(24) On the following day, that is on 27th August at morning, Mr. Matiur Rahman has also met with Sheikh Hasina at her residence Sudha Sadan. It is very natural that, at that time Hasina was very shocked, grief-stricken and agitated. At that time Hasina burst into tears again and again. But yet, she has raised direct and specific allegation that, “Tarique Rahman and his accomplices of Hawa Bhaban are directly involved with the above mentioned dreadful attack. Moreover, with a view to killing me and make Awami League leaderless, they have committed such type of horrible and barbaric attack.” At the same time she has also made appeal to the media to find out the actual fact of that grisly incident.

(25) In his above stated article, Mr. Matiur Rahman has also elaborately described that- “The BNP-Jamaat alliance has tried their best to make the countrymen believe and to realise that, with a view to obtain the people’s support and sympathy the Awami League has arranged the barbaric attack. Afterwards on 15th September, 2004 the number of MPs of BNP have also clearly and categorically asserted in one voice in the parliament that having been failed to get the people’s mandate in the immediate past parliamentary election and having been failed to go to power the Awami League is trying to create anarchy in the country. As a result, for the cause of materialising their wish and desire they have arranged the horrible grenade attack in their meeting in a pre-meditated plan. At that time they have also indicated the neighbouring country India’s intelligence wing (RAW) about the grenade attack.”

In the above discussed lengthy and very expressive article Mr. Matiur Rahman has deliberated that,“In pursuance of the guidance, instruction and recommendations of the high profile officials of home ministry, CID, NSI and others the investigationhas been diverted in the different path. At that time, the then government has tried to save and hide out the real culprits of that attack. Besides this, the government has tried to shift the responsibility of that attack to the killer group, Awami League leadership and India. In this respect, they have intentionally and wilfully destroyed all the symptoms (alamot) of that attack. Moreover the government machinery has misguided and misinterpreted the Interpol and FBI experts by giving various types of false and misleading informations. In fact, in the name of investigation it was just an eyewash.”

Mr. Matiur Rahman has also expressed that, “At that time the daily Prothom Alo has come to know that the then Prime Minister Khaleda Zia has forbidden the DGFI to conduct the investigation about the 21st August grenade attack. She also did not involve or engage the then DGFI chief in the investigation process. Later on the Army backed caretaker government has come to power on 11th January 2007. As a result, the whole situation of the country has been changed enormously. Therefore the investigation about the grenade attack has also obviously gotten momentum accordingly.”

(26) It is to be narrated here that, after the frightful attack on 21st August 2004, the then Deputy leader of the opposition in the parliament Mr. Md. Abdul Hamid MP (at present the honourable president of the country) has written a lengthy and very illustrative article in TheDaily Janakantha on 27-09-2004 (last portion, page no. 7) titled “Ekushey August grenade hamla: multobialochona and speaker-er bhumika (21st August grenade attack:pending discussion and the role of the speaker)]”. In his above noted illuminating article, he has asserted that, “On 15-09-2004 the then honourable speaker (Mr. JamiruddinSirkar) did not allow the opposition MPs to discuss about the grenade attack. But the speaker has given the floor to the treasury bench members Mr. K. M.ObaidurRahman and the then minister Dr.KhandakarMosharraf Hossain on the point of order.”

Mr. Md. Abdul Hamid has contended that, “By availing the chance and opportunity of the point of order the aforesaid MPs have elaborately discussed and abused the Awami League in the indescribable and objectionable languages. At the same time they have also bitterly charged and criticised the Awami League for the grenade attack by stating various types of concocted, fabricated and imaginary stories. Besides this, the then foreign minister and state minister for Home Affairs have also severely criticised the Awami League for the above cited grenade attack. At the time of their above noted one sided unbreaking and uninterrupting abusive discussion and criticism, the Awami League staged walked out from the house.But in absence of them, the then minister Major (Retd.) Hafiz Uddin (Bir bikram) MP and other ministers have also very harshly and sharply criticised the Awami League by uttering various types of foul and objectionable languages.”

Mr. Md. Abdul Hamid has also described that, “It is very painful and surprising enough that, the above cited all the MPs and the ministers have distinctly and separately charged and categorically blamed Awami League for the above mentioned barbarous grenade attack. The then speaker did not expunge the above noted any of the contemptuous utterings and derogatory remarks of the treasury bench members. The aforesaid preferential treatment of the speaker are the burning reflection of the one-eyed role and extremely partisan attitude indeed. Side by side it is well proved that, with a view to hiding out the misdeeds of the then ruling party BNP and misguide the entire nation, they have played such type of highly objectionable and unbridled role in the parliament. But the reality is that,the countrymen did not support or appreciate the above discussed versions and assertions of the BNP law makers.”

(27) It is to be notable here that, on that very date on 21st August 2004 as many as 144 police personnel were in duty at the meeting premises. But it is really unbelievable and unthinkable that at the time of above discussed attack, none of them were present on the spot. So anyone can raise the question that, under whose guidance and instruction the above noted all the police personnel have been withdrawn from the meeting premises or all of them have been made inactive. It is also very much surprising that not a single police or any member of security division was injured in that meeting. This is why the pre-arranged link of chain of their command council in regarding their involvement and participation are therefore proved undoubtedly and trust worthily.

(28) It is a matter of fact that, after the above mentioned grisly attack number of wounded leaders and workers of Awami League have taken shelter in the truck. But the police personnel have beaten them mercilessly and indiscriminately. Moreover those who have come to help the critically wounded persons, the police personnel and other member of law enforcing agencies have also persecuted with sticks very cruelly and thrown number of tear gas shell upon the public to stampede them. As a result the entire area was engulfed with black smoke. By this time the attackers have left the spot very safely.

(29) It can be said without any doubt and hesitation that, the large number of police and the members of other law enforcing agencies, those who were engaged and appointed at Bangabandhu Avenue on 21st August 2004, “… if they were allowed or directed to cordon the meeting premises and search all the persons of that area they can easily find out the real culprits of the attack from the spot. But the tragedy is that they did not do so or they were not allowed to do so. [B. Ekushey August 2004- Feeredekha (21st August, 2004- To see afresh- Dr. Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, MP and former home minister, The Daily Janakantha, 12th September 2020].

(30) It is also a matter of regret that, after the above mentioned brutal grenade attack the number of doctors particularly those who were the active supporters and followers of the then DAB (BNP Alliance Doctor’s Association) were refrained to deliver the treatment to the wounded persons. By the side of this the attending police personnel have also made various types of barriers and obstacles to enter the number of critically injured persons inside the hospital. Over and above, all the dispensaries adjoining to DMCH (Dhaka Medical College Hospital) were forced to shut down, so that the patients could not buy their desired medicine. Afterwards it was informed that nearly at 4:00 PM, the then ministry of Health Affairs has verbally ordered to close the DMCH [B. Ekushey August 2004- Feeredekha(21st August, 2004- To see afresh),Dr. Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, MP and former home minister, The Daily Janakantha, 12th September 2020]. The aforesaid all the performances of the then BNP government are adjudged as extremely inhuman and highly condemnable.

 Dr. Md. Fazlur Rahman,Senior District and Sessions Judge (Retired),Writer and Columnist.


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