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A legacy of conspiracy

Dreadful grenade attack day tomorrow

Published : 19 Aug 2021 10:22 PM | Updated : 20 Aug 2021 01:32 AM

Tomorrow is the 17th anniversary of the most dreadful grenade attack of the history. The attack was made in a bid to destroy the leadership of then main opposition political party Awami League, which led the Liberation War and created a new sovereign and independent Bangladesh.

The most barbaric and deadly grenade attack, sponsored by the BNP government, was launched on the anti-terrorism rally on Bangabandhu Avenue on August 21 in 2004. 

The attack was designed against the country’s peace, independence, democracy and development, said country’s leading intellectuals and academicians while talking to the Bangladesh Post.

Referring to a deep-rooted and baseless propaganda against Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by military dictator Ziaur Rahman, Professor Dr A S M Maksud Kamal, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University, said that even before killing Bangabandhu along with most of his family members on the dark night of August 15 in 1975, the conspirators circulated propaganda against the Awami League government to make a ground of the August 15 massacre.

He said that one day Zia met Dhaka University’s Economic Department Professor Nurul Islam, who appointed a vice-chairman of the Planning Commission by the Bangabandhu, and told him that every month, around 10 lack tonnes of wheat were smuggling to India through boarder area.

Professor Nurul Islam quipped why Zia was not controlling the so-called smuggling to India. However, Zia could not give any answer.

Later, world-famous researchers found evidence that there was small-scale smuggling to India; not significant at all. Researchers also came to know that that those who hatched conspiracy to assassinate Bangabandhu were actually involved in the smuggling of daily essentials to India from Bangladesh.  

It was a part of their plan to prove Bangabandhu as an ‘unsuccessful administrator’ and to make him unpopular.

The second-in-command of the Dhaka University said that even after the killing of Bangabandhu, his daughter came to the state power in a landslide election victory and took step to bring all the killers to book. As a result, the conspirators again started hatching deadly plot in collaboration with the ‘imperialist masters’.

Carrying out the deadly grenade attack on AL president Sheikh Hasina and her top party brass was part of their mission against development, democracy and secular ideology of Sheikh Hasina-led Bangladesh, he further said.

The target of Jamaat chief Ghulam Azam, Ziaur Rahman, her widow Khaleda Zia, who later became prime minister of the country, and their notorious son Tarique Zia was same, he continued.

Zia masterminded the killing of Bangabandhu while Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Zia plotted the grenade attack on Bangabandhu’s daughter Sheikh Hasina, he went on saying.

Professor Dr A S M Maksud Kamal said Khaleda Zia and Tarique Zia had tried to eliminate Sheikh Hasina and her top associates on August 21 in 2004 to finish the unfinished mission of Ziaur Rahman.

Professor Dr Muhammad Samad, another Pro-Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University said, two lines are there since 1948 – the Mujib line and anti-Mujib line.

Later after assassination of the Bangabandhu, the anti-Mujib line captured the state power of Bangladesh and thus the anti-Mujib line got stronger.

The grenade attack on the AL rally on August 21 in 2004 was a continuation of the conspiracy of 15 August by the anti-Mujib line, he said.

Professor Dr Muhammad Samad said, “This line is actually anti-Awami League line. It’s anti-liberation line, it’s anti-secularism line.”

The renowned intellectual further said the anti-Mujib line is actually a pro-fundamentalist line, a communal line.

Sheikh Hasina is a symbol of progress, democracy, independence, he said.

He said Bangladesh itself was saved through saving the life of Sheikh Hasina from the grenade attack carnage on August 21 in 2004.

The August 21 grenade attack was launched as per a blueprint to kill Bangabandhu’s daughter Sheikh Hasina during the rule of BNP-Jamaat alliance government.

As soon as the then leader of the opposition in parliament and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina concluded her address pronouncing ‘Joy Bangla, Joy Bangabandhu’ at about 5:22pm on August 21 in 2004, militants started hurling military grade hand grenades from the rooftops of high-rise buildings located around the Awami League’s central party office at Bangabandhu Avenue.   

The entire Bangabandhu Avenue and its adjacent areas were rocked by a series of grenade blasts, killing 24 people, including Mohila Awami League president and late President Zillur Rahman’s wife Ivy Rahman and injuring over 450 others.    

The then opposition leader and incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina escaped the attack unhurt but her hearing was impaired badly.

There was no such incident in the history of mankind, where state sponsored attack was launched to kill the leader of the opposition in parliament and the daughter of the Father of the Nation.