Opposition BNP yesterday protested the Prime Minister’s remarks involving it with the August 21 grenade attack, and said the ruling party is trying to shift the blame of the attack to its arch rival to make political gains.
“This is unfortunate that Awami League always tries to shift blame for anything bad onto others to make their narrow political gains,” said BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
He came up with the allegation while addressing a press briefing after a joint meeting of the party at its Nayapaltan central office.
Earlier in the day, branding the BNP-Jamaat alliance as “the symbol of killing, terrorism and militancy”, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, “The people of the country will have to remain alert about them so that they cannot patronise militancy and stage the August 21-like grenade attack again.”
Addressing a rally at the Bangabandhu Avenue in the city marking the 9th anniversary of dastardly grenade attack on Awami League meeting on August 21, 2004, she also alleged that conducting such a big grenade attack could not be possible without the then government’s patronage.
Disapproving the PM’s comments, the BNP spokesman said the government is trying to implicate BNP and its senior vice chairman Tarique Rahman in the grenade attack to malign the party and undermine Tarique.
Stating that no political party and conscious people can support such a heinous incident, Fakhrul said, “We’d strongly condemned and protested the incident. We’d also staged rallies protesting the dreadful attack.”
On this day nine years back, 24 leaders and workers, including former Mohila Awami League president Ivy Rahman, were killed and over 200 others maimed in the grenade attack when then opposition leader Sheikh Hasina was addressing a rally at Bangabandhu Avenue.
Sheikh Hasina narrowly escaped the attack but got her ears affected.
Making his party’s stance on the August-21 grenade attack, Fakhrul said they have long been demanding a fair investigation into the incident to find out the real culprits.
Recalling the then BNP government’s steps after the attack, he said they had brought Scotland Yard to ensure a fair investigation into the incident. “But no Awami League leader extended cooperation in this regard. They even didn’t give the then opposition’s leader vehicle which was hit by bullets for the investigation.”
He alleged that the government repeatedly changed the charge sheet and Investigation Officer (IO) of the case only to implicate Tarique with a political motive.
Criticising the Prime minister for accusing BNP of patronizing militancy, he said BNP is always against any kind of militancy and terrorism. “We’d taken a stern stand against militancy when we’re in power.”
He also recalled that the BNP-led previous government had captured the militant kingpins and brought them to justice.