MNA Editorial Desk: Recalling the barbaric carnage, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said it was not possible to carry out an attack like that of August 21, 2004 had there been no direct patronage from the then BNP-Jamaat government.
“Had there been no patronage from the [then] government, it was not possible to carry out the August-21 grenade attack this way,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina made the allegation while addressing a discussion marking the August 21, 2004 grenade attack on Friday. Awami League organised the event at its Bangabandhu Avenue central office.
The Prime Minister attended the event virtually from her official residence Ganobhaban.
She said the then BNP-Jamaat government assembled the terrorists and militants in one place, provided training for waging such an attack and gave them a safe passage to flee abroad.
“They (BNP-Jamaat govt) thought that I had died (in the grenade attack), but when they came to know that I didn’t die they allowed the militants to flee the country,” Sheikh Hasina said.
After the attack, she said, police lobbed teargas shells and charged baton on AL leaders and workers instead of rescuing the victims.
Hasina said even BNP-Jamaat-backed doctors did not attend the injured AL leaders and workers at Dhaka Medical College Hospital and no patient was allowed to enter Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Medical University as it was closed.
“If they (BNP-Jamaat) had not been directly involved in this attack, had they put barricade this way (getting treatment, nab the culprits and destroying evidences)?” she questioned.
The Prime Minister alleged that carrying out killings was their habit as they do not believe in the country’s independence and they did not believe in the Liberation War spirit. “Power for them is a tool to make money through corruption,” she said.
In this connection, Hasina mentioned that the venom tree that was planted by the BNP-Jamaat clique, Bangladesh is still suffering from that. “After assuming power, we’re uprooting those one by one.”
AL general secretary Obaidul Quader also spoke at the programme joined by senior leaders of the party.
The barbaric grenade attack was carried out on an anti-terrorism rally of Awami League on Bangabandhu Avenue in the capital on August 21, 2004 during the BNP-Jamaat government aiming to wipe out the AL leadership.
Twenty-four people, including then president of Mohila Awami League and late President Zillur Rahman’s wife Ivy Rahman, were killed and over 500 others suffered splinter injuries in the grisly attack and many of them became crippled for life.
Sheikh Hasina, the then opposition leader, narrowly escaped the attack but sustained hearing impairment due to the impact of the repeated grenade blasts near the truck-dais of the huge public rally. AL men saved her life creating a human shield surrounding her during the attack.