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Grenade carnage aimed to kill Sheikh Hasina

AL today observes 18th anniv of Aug 21 grisly attack

Published : 20 Aug 2022 10:05 PM | Updated : 21 Aug 2022 03:12 PM
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Eighteen years ago, on this day (August 21) in 2004 during the BNP-Jamaat coalition regime, grisly grenade attacks were made targeting the then opposition leader and incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The carnage left at least 24 leaders and activists of the Awami League killed and over 500 others gravely injured. 

The 18th anniversary of the gruesome grenade attack on AL anti-terror rally on August 21, 2004 will be observed today with due solemnity.

Sponsored by the state, the heinous attacks were made by the militants in an attempt to change the political course of the country.

This unprecedented grenade attacks were carried out on a peaceful anti-terror rally of the Awami League on Bangabandhu Avenue in the capital city. 

Amidst the pandemonium of horrors AL leaders and activists formed a human shield to save the life of the then opposition leader and the incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.   

That day, Sheikh Hasina miraculously survived the infernal grenade attacks. Seeing that the main target Sheikh Hasina survived the assassins desperately shot 12 rounds of bullet at her car. However, the bullets could not penetrate the bulletproof vehicle carrying the Bangabandhu's daughter Sheikh Hasina. Immediately after the attack, Sheikh Hasina was cordoned off in a car and taken to her then residence Sudha Sadan in Dhanmondi. 

But 24 people including the then Women Affairs Secretary of Awami League and wife of the late President Zillur Rahman were killed and over 500 others injured in the attack and many of them got maimed for life. 

Others killed in the barbaric grenade attack included the then opposition leader's personal security guard Lance Corporal (retd) Mahbubur Rashid, Abul Kalam Azad, Rezina Begum, Nasir Uddin Sardar, Atique Sarkar, Abdul Kuddus Patwari, Aminul Islam Moazzem, Belal Hossain, Mamun Mridha, Ratan Shikdar, Liton Munshi, Hasina Mamtaz Reena, Sufia Begum, Rafiqul Islam (Ada Chacha), Mostaque Ahmed Sentu, Md Hanif, Abul Kashem, Zahed Ali, Momen Ali, M Shamsuddin and Ishaque Miah. 

Prominent among those who suffered serious splinter injuries included Sheikh Hasina, Amir Hossain Amu, Abdur Razzak, Suranjit Sengupta, Obaidul Quader, Advocate Sahara Khatun, Mohammad Hanif, Prof Abu Sayeed, and AFM Bahauddin Nasim. 

Fear and terror engulfed the entire capital after the grenade attack. Condemnation and grief of this massacre spread across home and abroad. 

After the attack, when the Awami League leaders and activists were busy trying to save themselves and others, the police charged the protest march fiercely with batons and tear shells. At the same time, all traces of the carnage were destroyed. 

The BNP-Jamaat coalition government even staged the 'Joj Mia' drama to cover up the incident with state sponsorship and direct support. 

Marking the 18th anniversary of the heinous acts, the ruling AL, its front and associate bodies and its left-leaning allies, and other political parties, social-cultural and professional organisations have chalked out elaborate programmes across the country, maintaining health guidelines because of the COVID-19 situation.   

A discussion will be held at 10:30 am today to recall the victims of the dreadful attack. Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will preside over it and will deliver an important speech. 

Prior to that, at 10:00 am, wreaths will be placed at the altar built for the 21 August martyrs in front of the Awami League central office at Bangabandhu Avenue . 

General Secretary of Awami League and Minister of Road Transport Obaidul Quader called upon the leaders, workers, supporters and well-wishers of Awami League and its allies and fraternal organizations at all levels to observe the Grenade Attack Day on August 21 with due solemnity along with the countrymen following the health rules.