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Bangladesh: 15th anniversary of Aug 21 grenade attacks today

by Huirem Naresh
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Dhaka, Aug 21

The 15th anniversary of the grenade attack on a rally of Awami League in front of its central office in Dhaka on August 21 in 2004 would be observed toady.
The ruling Awami League, its front and as sociate organisations, its left-leaning allies, and other political parties, social-cultural and professional bodies have chalked out elaborate programmes across the country to mark the day.
Twenty-four people, including late president Zillur Rahman’s wife Ivy Rahman, were killed and over 200 were injured in the grenade attack on the rally of the then main opposition Awami League on Bangabandhu Avenue on August 21, 2004 during the tenure of Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led alliance government.
Sheikh Hasina, Awami League president & present prime minister of Bangladesh, narrowly escaped the attack but the explosions caused her hearing damage.  
Awami League and its associate bodies would place wreaths at a makeshift altar in front of the party’s central office at Bangabandhu Avenue at 9:00am today.
A discussion would be held at Krishibid Institution of Bangladesh at Farmgate at 4:00pm.
Awami League president and prime minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to chair the discussion.
Two cases, one for murder and another under Explosives Substances Act were filed on August 22, 2004.
The Criminal Investigation Department had arrested 20 people and allegedly forced Muhammad Jamal alias George Miah, Abul Hasem Rana and Shafiqul Islam to confess to the attack in 2005.
On October 10, 2018, the Dhaka Speedy Trial Tribunal-1 sentenced former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar, former deputy minister Abdus Salam Pintu and 17 others to death and acting BNP chairman Tarique Rahman and 18 others to life term jail and the rest 11 accused to varying jail terms in the grenade attack cases.
On November 27, 2018, the High Court Division received the two references of sentencing 19 persons to death in the cases.
Besides, all the 31 convicts who were detained in jail during the verdict filed appeals challenging the verdict.
Eighteen other convicts, including Tarique Rahman, were still absconding and could not file any appeal challenging the trial court verdict.

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