August 21 grenade attack convict arrested

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:27, Feb 24,2021


The Rapid Action Battalion on Tuesday arrested a  fugitive convict of the August 21, 2004 grenade attack on an Awami League rally at Bangabandhu Avenue in Dhaka.

A battalion team arrested Mohammad Iqbal, who was given life-term imprisonment in his absence by The Dhaka Speedy Trial Tribunal-1 on October 10, 2018, at Diabari in the capital.

Iqbal went into hiding in Malaysia and returned home in 2020 after being identified as an illegal immigrant there, said battalion director general Chowdhury Abdullah Al-Mamun in a briefing.

Iqbal from Jhenaidah was involved in the politics of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, the student wing of Bangladesh Nationalist Party, in his student life, said the battalion.

 He came into touch with Mufti Hannan, the chief of Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami branch in Bangladesh, in 2003 and directly participated in the grenade attack, said Al-Mamun in the briefing. 

 He himself had thrown bomb to the stage where Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina and some other leaders were present, said the RAB officer.

 Iqbal fled Bangladesh in 2008 to escape the arrest.

 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 during the tenure of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led alliance government.

 Awami League president Hasina narrowly escaped the attack but the explosions caused her hearing damage. 

 Directorate General of National Security Intelligence provided the intelligence information and RAB’s intelligence team carried out the drive.

 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 two grenade attack cases.

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