BNP-Jamaat linked to 2004 grenade attacks: Hasina

Sunday, August 22, 2010

DHAKA - Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has alleged that her political rival Khaleda Zia, chief of the Bangladesh National Party (BNP), and the then government had “direct links” with the grenade attacks on a 2004 party rally in which 24 people were killed and over 400 injured.

“Certain activities of the then BNP-Jamaat coalition government point to the fact that they had direct links with the attack and there is no doubt about it,” Hasina told a rally Saturday held here to mark the sixth anniversary of the attacks.

“Investigation continues… those who killed so many innocent people must be tried and punished,” she told the gathering.

Hasina, who was addressing a rally Aug 21, 2005, was fired upon as she was whisked away in a bullet-proof vehicle.

Those killed included Ivy Rahman, chief of the Awami League’s women’s wing. Her husband, Zillur Rahman, is currently the country’s president.

Several senior leaders of the then opposition party, now in power, were seriously injured and taken to India for surgery.

Hasina Saturday said the Zia government (2002-06) had “scuttled” the probe and had destroyed evidence, United News of Bangladesh (UNB) news agency reported.

She alleged that Zia’s ministers had “patronised” the attackers who are believed to belong to Islamist militant outfits that Zia later banned under international pressures.

“There is no doubt that BNP-Jamaat alliance government was involved in the Aug 21 grenade attack,” Hasina said.

Recalling her own experience amid the grenades explosions that day, Hasina said her survival was “a miracle”, UNB news agency quoted her as saying.

Hasina called for putting an end to the “politics of killing”.

“For achieving political goals, you cannot kill your political opponents. Such culture of vengeance must be stopped for ever,” the prime minister said.

Calling for “a transparent probe” in an editorial Sunday, New Age said the grenade attacks “added distortion to the political process and, needless to say, further intensified the mistrust and malice that the two mainstream political camps led by the Awami League and the BNP have for each other”.

Filed under: Terrorism

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