Today marks the 18th anniversary of the hellish terror attack
The grenade attack of August 21, 2004 was the result of a conspiracy to empty the leadership of the Awami League. The discussion that the attack was carried out with the support of the then ruling party BNP is going on in almost all quarters. In the verdict of the trial of this attack case, there is evidence of the involvement of the ministers and officials of the then BNP coalition government. In this, the issue of direct patronage of the then government became more clear.
Awami League presidium member Matia Chowdhury said, “BNP has never denied responsibility for the grenade attack. The then Prime Minister Khaleda Zia said, “Who will go to kill her (Sheikh Hasina)?”
Today is that horrible, bloody August 21st. The 18th anniversary of a hellish terrorist attack. August 21 is the day of the most brutal massacre in history. During the BNP-Jamaat alliance government, the massacre was carried out at a political rally of The Awami League in the capital Dhaka. The grenade attack will be a black chapter in the history of politics.
In this regard, Dr. Syed Anwar Hossain, a professor of history at Dhaka University, said, “Analyzing this grenade attack, it becomes clear that the anti-liberation politics has become stronger in the country under the leadership of BNP. The plan to kill all the leaders of a political party on one platform has proved that the goal of the anti-liberation force was the pro-liberation organization Awami League and its president, today’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. “This horrific attack has brought about a major change in the psyche of the people of the country. This brutal grenade attack acted as a regulator to increase the closeness of the political forces of the spirit of the Liberation War and non-communal thinking to the Awami League.
Anwar Hossain said, “The grenade attack has had an impact in strengthening the unity within the party. Everyone has become more responsible to protect Awami League President Sheikh Hasina, who was attacked. This attack has played a role in organizing the pro-liberation forces in the country’s politics. Under the leadership of The Awami League, the movement against the BNP-Jamaat alliance intensified. In the wake of the grenade attack, the Awami League, a pro-liberation force in the international world, has benefited from politics. ’
Santanu Majumder, a professor of political science at Dhaka University, said, “On August 15, 1975 and August 21, 2004, it seems to me that two big walls were created. I don’t know how this wall will be removed, by whom it will be possible to remove it. I have never heard any political party or civil society representatives of Bangladesh talk about this.
“The August 21 grenade attack has given some benefits to the Awami League. It has helped the team gain international sympathy. BNP and Jamaat have definitely been condemned. In this way, it can be said that the Awami League has gained political mileage. But I think this attack is not only an attack on The Awami League and its chief Sheikh Hasina, but it is doubtful whether the pro-liberation forces would have survived if this plan had been fully implemented. ’
Santanu Majumder said, “The August 21 grenade attack seems to me to have made the division of politics bigger and clearer. It also seems to me that the bond of friendship within the party around August 21 has been strengthened. It can be said that Sheikh Hasina became an icon after that incident.
What happened that day: August 21, 2004 was a Saturday. In the afternoon, there was an anti-terrorism, militancy and anti-corruption rally of Awami League at Bangabandhu Avenue. Sheikh Hasina, the then leader of the opposition, was present as the chief guest. After the rally, the procession was scheduled to go in front of Bangabandhu’s residence at Dhanmondi 32. For this reason, a truck was used as a temporary stage in front of the party’s central office instead of building a stage. Sheikh Hasina arrived at the rally venue a little before 5 pm in a bulletproof Mercedes-Benz. He started his speech after the speeches of the central leaders at the rally.
After finishing her speech at 5:22 pm, Sheikh Hasina proceeded to fold a piece of paper in her hand near the stairs to get down from the truck. At that moment, the grenade attack started. One grenade after another exploded in a loud noise. The leaders in the truck and Sheikh Hasina’s personal security officials saved Bangabandhu’s daughter from death by creating a human shield. Later, the killers opened fire at Sheikh Hasina’s car. His personal security guard, Lance Corporal (retd) Mahbubur Rashid, stood in front of the bullet.
Observing the verdict in the attack case, the trial court said, “On August 21, 2004, a futile attempt was made to make the Awami League leaderless. With the help of the state machinery, the local militant organization carried out the attack with the help of international militant organizations. “In politics, there will be differences between the ruling party and the opposition on various issues. Therefore, it is not desirable to try to make the opposition leaderless. ’
Since 2005, the Awami League has been holding various programs against terrorism and militancy every year in protest of the attack and in memory of the victims. This time too, the program has been taken. According to a press release signed by party office secretary Biplob Barua, a wreath will be paid under the leadership of party president Sheikh Hasina at the altar built in front of the party’s central office at Bangabandhu Avenue at 10 am on Sunday. The party will hold a protest and memorial meeting at 10:15 am. Awami League President Sheikh Hasina will preside over the meeting.