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President, PM pay tribute to Aug 21 grenade attack victims

President, PM pay tribute to Aug 21 grenade attack victims

DHAKA:  President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday paid rich tributes to the victims of August 21 grenade attack in 2004 and prayed for eternal peace of the departed souls of the martyrs.

In separate messages on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the heinous grenade attack, they urged all to show respect to the martyrs of August 21, 2004 by building a peaceful and safe country and a terrorism-free democratic political environment.

In his message, President Abdul Hamid said the reactionary forces are still active to foil the country’s independence and democracy.

He urged the democracy-loving patriotic people to come forward being imbued with the spirit of War of Liberation to build a happy, prosperous and dignified Bangladesh for making the sacrifices of the martyrs meaningful.

Terming the heinous grenade attack as another “black chapter” in the country’s national political history, Abdul Hamid said, “The August 21, 2004 grenade attack is a brutal incident in the history. It was aimed at making bankrupt the AL and Bangladesh in leadership and stopping democratic process and establishing autocracy and militancy.”

“They had launched the history’s most barbaric grenade attack on August 21, 2004 during an Awami League rally at Bangabandhu Avenue as per a blueprint to kill Bangabandhu’s daughter Sheikh Hasina,” he said.

Though Hasina escaped death by the grace of Allah, another valiant fighter of democracy Bangladesh Awami Mahila League’s former President Ivy Rahman and 23 other leaders and activists were killed and many others were injured, he added.

The President said many of the injured persons in the attack became crippled for the whole life and now living in endless miseries, he said.

In a separate message, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said her government wants to end killing, terrorism and militancy in the country by bringing the attackers, masterminds and plotters of the grenade attack of August 21 under trial.

She said the August 21 grenade attack was aimed at halting the trend of independence, democracy, peace and development as well as making the country leaderless and perpetuating the reign of killing, conspiracy, terrorism, militancy and corruption.

Terming the grenade attack a ‘stigmatized day’ in the political history of the country, Sheikh Hasina said, “The killers carried out the barbaric attack in broad day light on a peaceful rally of Awami League to kill me”.

“Our party leaders and workers, by forming a human-shield, saved me from the series of grenade attacks,” she recalled.

“I survived the attack due to immense blessings of the Almighty, but some 22 leaders and workers including president of Mahila Awami League Ivy Rahman embraced martyrdom. More than 500 leaders and activists, journalists and security personnel were injured,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said it was the moral obligation of a government to arrest and try the culprits involved with such a heinous attack. But, the then government of BNP protected the killers and helped a number of attackers to leave the country.

They destroyed the evidence of the incidence and in the name of investigation, diverted the heinous incident to other direction, she said.

“But truth can never be suppressed. Today, it has come out through investigation that many high-ups of the BNP-Jama’at alliance government were directly involved with the attack,” the Prime Minister said.

She expressed the hope that the trials of the masterminds and perpetrators of August 21 grenade attack would take place in the soil of this country.

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