“BNP brought in Dalim, Rashid to plot Aug 21 attack” says PM
Shining BD Desk || Shining BD
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said that the August 21 grenade attack was carried out under direct patronage of the then BNP-Jamaat government to kill her and wipe out the top leadership of Awami League 18 years ago.
"Without having any government patronage, this kind of heinous attack could not have taken place," the premier said.
"The target was to kill me and wipe out the Awami League." She was addressing a discussion marking the August 21, 2004 grenade attack on an anti-terrorism rally organised by then opposition AL in front of its central office on Dhaka's Bangabandhu Avenue.
The attack killed 24 people and injured about 300, but Hasina, then opposition leader, luckily escaped death.
Hasina revealed that Rashid and Dalim, two of the killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, had returned to Bangladesh and were involved in the plot to kill her and her party's leadership.
She said that then Prime Minister Khaleda Zia helped the two killers leave the country after the carnage, one of the worst such political violence in the history of Bangladesh.
"This is the reality. Many know that Dalim and Rashid were in Dhaka. I don't know whether all are aware of this," she said.
She mentioned that when they found out that she did not die in the attack, they fled the country.
"Who brought them here unless the then BNP government had not taken the initiative? They came and they went away," she said.
She apprehended that more attacks on her are being planned and she knows that she has danger in her every step.
"Killing is the character of BNP and now we have to sit with them and be hospitable so that they participate in the election. Why? I don't understand." — she wondered.
Sheikh Hasina, chief of AL, said that BNP shed crocodile tears in front of foreigners at the time. She said people of Bangladesh must choose now between the politics of terrorism and the path to development.
"People will have to decide whether they want to return to the era of terrorism or stay firm on the current path of development," she said.
Earlier, the prime minister paid tributes to the memory of those killed in the gruesome grenade attack by laying a wreath at the makeshift memorial erected at the scene of the carnage.
She shared her pain with the relatives who lost their loved ones and also with those who have been living a painful life with injuries from grenade splinters.
One-minute silence was observed in memory of the victims before offering prayers for the salvation of the departed souls. Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader also spoke at the event.
The Daily Star