Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has branded the BNP-Jamaat alliance as “the symbol of killing, terrorism and militancy” and requested the countrymen to ponder about what kind of welfare they would do.
She said yesterday during addressing a rally at the Bangabandhu Avenue in the city marking the 9th anniversary of devastating grenade attack on Awami League rally on August 21, 2004.
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 the rally.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called upon the countrymen to think how far the country is safe in the hands of those, who being in power, could launch dreadful grenade attacks on a peaceful rally.
“They’ll establish the country as the den of militants and terrorists, they will destroy Bangladesh,” she said.
Hasina said these days Hefazat-e-Islam is involved with BNP and Jamaat. “People of the country will have to remain alert about them so that they can not patronize militancy and stage the August 21-like grenade attack again.”
She alleged that conducting such a big grenade attack could not be possible without patronage of the government and the members of on-duty law enforcement agencies had helped the attackers escape from the scene.
On-duty police force hurled teargas shells when the Awami League leaders and workers were trying to rescue the wounded people, she said.
The Prime Minister said 13 grenades, which were used in the attack, are usually used in the war fields.
She said that after taking office, the present government contained militancy and terrorism with an iron hand. “At least no attack like August 21 (of 2004) took place on the opposition party in the last four and half years as we never believe in the politics of vendetta. I don’t want such kind of incident taking place in the country anymore.”
Hasina mentioned that the Awami League and the grand alliance it leads always worked for the overall development of the country. “We engaged all our strength to this end and people are now getting its benefit,” she said.
She alleged that the BNP-Jamaat alliance government destroyed all evidence of the grenade attack; even they had destroyed the un-detonated grenades. They made various attempts to save the killers of the August 21, 2004 grenade attack like that of the killers of August 15, 1975, she said.
The Prime Minister said: “During the previous BNP-led four-party alliance government, grenade attacks were launched across the country and they turned the country into a haven of terrorists and militants.”
Terming the August 21 grenade attack as pre-planned, she said the investigation into the attack has been completed and killers will certainly be brought to book in the soil of Bangladesh.
Conveying deep sympathy to the family members of the deceased and wounded in the attack, Hasina said the Awami League is providing assistance to the families of the victims of the August 21 grenade attack as well as to the financially insolvents leaders and workers of the party from Bangabandhu Memorial Trust.
All the victims will be provided with financial assistance in phases, she added.
Earlier, Sheikh Hasina paid tributes to the August 21 victims by placing wreaths at a temporary altar on the spot. She also placed wreaths there along with the party leaders.
A special munajat was also offered seeking divine blessings for the departed souls of those killed in the August 21 grenade attack and early recovery of the wounded people.
Later, the Prime Minister distributed cheques of financial assistance to the family members of 50 victims of the August 21 grenade attack.