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.
Dr. Md. Fazlur Rahman: (91) It is admitted that, on that very date of frightful grenade attack on 21st August 2004, as many as 18 persons were killed on the spot. Besides this, more than 500 (five hundred) persons were wounded critically and severely. Side by side, it is also a matter of fact that, as many as 144 police personnel as well as other members of the law enforcing agencies were on duty on that day at the meeting premises. But it is really very much astonishing that, among the above noted number of police personnel and other law enforcing agencies not a single member of them was injured either critically or at least slightly. But how it was possible to escape themselves from the aforesaid infernal attack? The exact reason behind it is adjudged as very much doubtful and mysterious.
(92) Henceforth in pursuance of the above noted surprising matters and affairs anyone can raise the question that, how and in which way the above stated all the persons have saved themselves from the above cited violent attack. Were they have any previous plan or preparation to protect themselves? Were they informed or directed earlier about the aforesaid attack? The answers of the above mentioned number of vital and important questions are very essential and important to know the exact reason behind the above stated detestable attack. But the tragedy is that anyone of the then government machinery did not switch over their mouth in regarding the above cited highly suspicious matters and affairs.
(93) It is ardently expected that, in regarding the entire factual matters and affairs on 21st August 2004, all the members of the law enforcing agencies must have to make accountable and interrogated accordingly. But the tragedy is that for the cause of above mentioned barbarous killing and terrible attack on that day, not a single person of any of the law enforcing agency, those who were present on that date at the meeting premises were charged or interrogated for a single time. Moreover for the cause of the failure or negligence or incapability of maintaining the law and order on that date at the meeting spot, no one of them were charged or faced any kind of explanation or penalty or at least a show-cause notice. The actual reason behind it is treated as very much doubtful and mysterious.
(94) It is very relevant to express here that, the editor and publisher Mr. Mahfuz Anam of well reputed daily “The Daily Star” has written a very significant and expressive article titled “After 30 years of autocracy’s demise, democracy still remains a distant dream” on 20-09-2020. In his above cited article he has contended that- “Nothing damaged the prospect of democracy as deeply and fundamentally as the attempt on Sheikh Hasina’s life on August 21, 2004. With the exploding grenades that nearly killed today’s prime minister, whose survival was nothing short of a miracle, the future of parliamentary democracy lay splinter ridden like many who survived that tragedy. In Sheikh Hasina’s mind, Khaleda Zia was no longer a political opponent, albeit bitter one, but a potential murderer, who would not be averse to assassination to consolidate herself in power.
For those who may have doubted the BNP chief’s direct involvement with this dastardly act found themselves totally betrayed by the way this national tragedy was handed in which 24 citizens were killed, including Ivy Rahman, chief of Awami League’s women’s wing and the wife of Zillur Rahman, a highly respected veteran political leader, later to become president (of the country). Practically no attempt was made to hold a credible investigation – strengthening suspicion of the government’s involvement – and what we heard on the floor of the parliament dominated by BNP at that time, was both contemptuous of truth and disrespectful of public intelligence, foreshadowing the shameful ‘Joj Miah’ incident and the farcical judicial inquiry that were to follow.”
In my point of view, all the law abiding and peace loving citizens of the country must admit and appreciate the above discussed all the assertions and contentions of Mr. Mahfuz Anam indeed.
(95) It is to be mentionable here that among the charge sheeted 52 accused of this case as many as 18 of them have separately and independently made inculpatory confessional statement under section 164 of the Cr.PC before the learned first class Magistrate. The fact is that all of them have distinctly and individually as well as categorically narrated and described the entire factual matters and affairs about the aforesaid great massacre of grenade attack from the beginning to the end. By the side of this they have also admitted their active participation and whole hearted cooperation followed by direct overt act in regarding the afore mentioned diabolic grenade attack.
(96) It is very pertinent and relevant to mention here that among the above cited number of confessors one of the important accused Mufti Abdul Hannan has conspicuously and unequivocally disclosed that the entire plan of the attack was mapped out and finalised by the Hawa Bhaban. He has also acknowledged that, the permission for carrying out the attack was taken from Tarique Rahman. It is also evident that, at a later time the confessor Mufti Hannan and all of his accomplices have jointly and unitedly done and performed all the directives and instructions of their boss Tarique Rahman accordingly.
(97) It is the part of our history that, at the time of afore mentioned grenade attack Mr. Lutfuzzaman Babar was the state minister for home affairs and Begum Khaleda Zia was in charge of the ministry of home affairs indeed. Admittedly all the intelligence agencies of the state were under the direct control and supervision of the home ministry. Over and above she was the Prime Minister of Bangladesh at that time. This is why she was the head of the government indeed. And for the same reason, Begum Khaleda Zia cannot avoid the overall liabilities and responsibilities of the much talked gruesome attack of 21st August, 2004 in any way or means. But it is really unbelievable and surprising that she (Khaleda Zia) did not disclose her actual role or exact position in regarding the above stated beastly and deadly grenade attack for a single moment till today.
(98) Henceforth the vital question is that when the chief of highest intelligence agency knew about the incident, it is neither believable nor acceptable to the countrymen that being the in charge of the ministry of Home Affairs as well as the head of the government Begum Khaleda Zia did not know anything about the plan of the terrible incident. In regarding the above mentioned sensational occurrence and barbarous incident of August 21 grenade attack – is it not a vital question? But the painful reality is that this question remains unanswered till today.The actual reason behind it is considered as very much dubious and mysterious.
(99) It is observed from the record that, the learned judge of the Speedy Trial Tribunal has made some illuminating comments in the findings and observations in his judgment. He has expressed that- “In a democratic country in the world, it is well established that, whichever party may be in the state power, must strive heartily to consolidate democracy in all spheres by adopting a liberal policy towards the political opposition. But gaining the political mileage by killing or eliminating the opposition leaders cannot be the norms and ethics of democratic expression.” Each and every law abiding person of the country must admit and appreciate the above mentioned findings and decisions of the learned tribunal indeed.
(100) It is the historical fact that, the beastly attack of 21st August, 2004 is the continuation of the extremely brutal murder of Bangabandhu and his family members on 15th August, 1975 as well as the barbarous jail killing on 3rd November, 1975. It is admitted that Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana were in abroad on 15th August 1975. As a result, the conspirators have failed to kill them on that date. This is why they have targeted Sheikh Hasina on 21st August, 2004 to fulfil their unfinished task with all of their efforts and preparations. But the most merciful God has miraculously saved Sheikh Hasina from the terrible grenade attack.
(101) It is obvious that in a multi party political system there must be number of parties will exist and persist in the country. It is also very natural that each and every party has its own point of views in regarding the state policy. All the parties have various types of opinions and ideologies to run the country. As a result, all the parties should try their best to convince and to motivate the countrymen to get their mandate in the general election. And it is the settled law and established principle as well as the norms and ethics in a democratic system. But having been availing all types of help and support from the state machinery the state sponsored terrorism or any kind of attempt of eliminating the political opponent by killing them in a broad daylight is neither allowable nor permissible in any way or means. The above cited filthy game and foul attempt of hellish attack is very much hateful and highly condemnable.
(102) It is a matter of great regret that, in collaboration with each other the number of political parties of our country, home grown some desperate militants, all the intelligence agencies along with the Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan have jointly and unitedly committed the aforesaid extremely brutal and heart-breaking occurrence of grenade attack on 21st August, 2004 in a pre-arranged way. The number of ferocious accused including Mufti Hannan of these two cases have also conspicuously and unequivocally admitted the above noted all the factual matters and affairs followed by unscrupulous design of that attack in their distinct and separate confessional statements u/s164 of the Cr. PC before the learned first class Magistrate. It is undeniable that with a view to wiping out the entire leadership of Bangladesh Awami League the attackers have combinedly and unitedly done and committed the above noted heinous and hellish attack.
Dr. Md. Fazlur Rahman, Senior District and Sessions Judge (Retired),Writer and Columnist .