AL asks for neutral probes
Friday, 22 August 2008

Aug 21 attacks

Staff Correspondent

The Awami League Thursday asked the caretaker government to launch a neutral enquiry into the grenade attack on a party rally on August 21, 2004.

Acting president Zillur Rahman said the BNP-led four-party coalition did not try the real perpetrators since, he alleged, they had been involved with the attack.
 
"We demand that the non-party caretaker government launch a neutral investigation," he said at a rally at the party's headquarters on Bangabandhu Avenue as it marked the fourth anniversary of the deadly incident that left 24 people killed.
 
A two-minute silence, which started at 5:16pm, six minutes ahead of schedule, was observed to protest against terrorism and in memory of those killed in the blasts.
 
Party leaders then laid wreaths to pay their respect at the makeshift memorial on the footpath in front of the AL office.
 
Later, adherents of AL's allies Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), Workers Party, Shamyabadi Dal (M-L) and Ganotantri Party, and its front organisations laid wreaths.
 
Hundreds of supporters had been placing flowers at the memorial since morning.
 
 
Acting general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam alleged that they had planned to hold the 'protest' rally outside the central office but for 'government excesses'. He also said they had not been allowed to erect a temporary memorial at the site of the attack.
 
Zillur demanded punishment to the perpetrators and the masterminds and said, "The attack was made to finish the Awami League."
 
Amir Hossain Amu demanded that non-partisan people carried out the inquiry.
 
Abdur Razzak echoed the demand and said, "A lot of planning was put behind the attack. The planners have to be found out."
 
Tofail Ahmed said, "A deputy minister like Nasiruddin Ahmed Pintu cannot dare to pull this off without the patronage of powerful people."
 
Suranjit Sengupta claimed that the intelligence officials made up the "Joj Miah Drama" as former prime minister Khaleda Zia and former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar were involved with the grenade attack.
 
He demanded immediate arrest of the then investigation officers of Criminal Investigation Department and submission of a supplementary charge sheet by a police official with the rank of deputy inspector general.
 
Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury and Motia Chowdhury also spoke.

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