Survivors of August 21, 2004 grenade attack said on Wednesday that they were not fully satisfied with the verdict in the grenade attack cases as acting Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Tarique Rahman was sentenced to life.
They made the observations while talking to New Age after the pronouncement of the verdict that sentenced former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar, former deputy minister Abdus Salam Pintu and 17 others to death, Tarique and 18 others to life and the rest accused to imprisonment for varying terms in the two cases.
They alleged that Tarique had masterminded the attack to kill Awami League president and then leader in the opposition Sheikh Hasina, now the prime minister, in a bid to destroy the family of the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and AL.
They victims urged the government to take initiatives to ensure death penalty for Tarique through proper legal process.
They said that 18 fugitive convicts, including Tarique, living abroad should be brought back immediately and the sentences should be executed soon completing all the legal process.
‘I waited 14 years to hear
the verdict. I could hear it finally. But it could not satisfy me fully,’ said Swechchhasebak League of Dhaka north district vice-president Mahbuba Parvin.
‘Tarique Rahman was the mastermind of the heinous attack and he should have got death sentence so that none could venture to plot to kill a political leader,’ she said, adding that still she had to pass sleepless nights in pain of numerous splinters she was carrying in the body.
‘Justice would have been made if Tarique Rahman was sentenced to death. BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia, being the then prime minister, cannot deny her responsibility. She should have been tried,’ said Md Samrat Akbor Sabuj, president of Bangladesh Awami Sonar Bangla League, an organisation created respecting the grenade attack victims.
Samrat, now 33, came to the Bangabandhu Avenue rally with his parents
when he was 19-years-old. The grenade attack made him physically challenged. Now he needs crutch to walk.
‘They snatched away my smooth life,’ he said describing the dreadful afternoon and later how he and his parents, who were also injured, had to take treatment secretly. ‘My father died after three years of the attack and suffering from the splinters in the body,’ he said.
‘The government should appeal to higher court challenging the verdict and seeking death penalty for Tarique,’ said Samrat’s 60-year-old mother Mahmuda Monwara Begum who also had been carrying splinters in the body.
Monwara, an AL activist of Keraniganj in Dhaka, said that she lost three teeth and was still carrying over 100 splinters in the body.
‘It was a horror. There were big bangs one after another. People were seen torn in pools of blood and groaning. The police, instead of saving us, opened tear gas on us and washed evidence spraying water,’ said Badar Aziz Uddin of Sheikhdi under Demra in Dhaka who was injured in the grenade attack.
‘Tarique was the mastermind of the attack that had torn hopes and dreams of hundreds of families. He should have got capital punishment. He as well as all the fugitive convicts should be brought back and should executed completing legal process as soon as possible,’ he said.
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