BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir speaks at a press conference at Nayapaltan central office. Photo: UNB
Dhaka, Aug 27 (UNB) – Stating that the party wants exemplary punishment of the real perpetrators of the August 21 grenade attack incident, BNP on Monday alleged that the government is making efforts to fulfill its desire using the case as a political weapon.
Speaking at a press conference, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir suggested the government to rethink about the ‘venomous’ consequences of using August 21 grenade attack case for suppressing its opponents.
“As in the past, we still condemn and protest the brutal incident of August 21 grenade attack on an Awami League rally in 2004. We want the trial and exemplary punishment of the real perpetrators of the attack to stop the recurrence of such a ruthless incident,” he said.
The BNP leader further said, “But the government’s naked efforts to unfairly imperil the top BNP leaders and BNP using police, detectives, investigation officer and judiciary by cashing in on the incident can in no way be acceptable in a civilised society.”
In the wake of top ruling party leaders’ comments involving its chairperson Khaleda Zia and acting chairman Tarique Rahman with the August 21 incident, BNP arranged the press meet at its Nayapaltan central office.
Refuting the ruling party’s allegations against Khaleda and Tarique, Fakhrul accused the government of trying to use the issue as a weapon to suppress and weaken its main political opponents.
The BNP leader also said the government carried out the investigation into the incident by a party leader and retired police officer, Abdul Kahar Akand, with a political motive.
“They (govt) are now making evil efforts to satisfy their political desire through the judiciary. We strongly condemn and protest such a move,” he said.
Fakhrul warned that the unlawful conviction of top BNP leaders on false charges will make people aggrieved further which will only create a new problem.
He said their party thinks the peaceful solution to the current ‘political crisis’ is very essential ahead of the national election in the interest of the country. “The government should take positive steps to solve the existing problems of the country instead of creating new ones.”
The BNP leader said their party-led government had taken various legal steps, including the arrest of suspected attackers, after the grenade attack in 2004, but the case took a different turn when Awami League formed the government in 2009.
While making deposition to the fifth investigation officer, Fazlul Kabir, of the grenade attack case in 2007, he said Sheikh Hasina did not bring any allegation against Khaleda Zia and Tarique Rahman.
In an interview with late Indian journalist Kuldip Nayar in September 2004, Fakhrul mentioned that Hasina said ‘Bangladesh Army’ was involved in the grenade attack incident. “But neither any court nor any investigation officer asked her anytime about the basis of her such allegation.”
The BNP leader said though Hasina was the No 2 witness in the case, she did not turn up in the court to make her deposition.
He said Tarique Rahman’s name was not there in the chargesheet submitted accusing 22 people by Fazlul Kabir on August 22, 2007.
Fakhrul said ‘controversial and retired police officer’ Abdul Kahar Akand later submitted a supplementary chargesheet accusing Tarique and 30 others. “The basis of the allegation against Tarique was the confessional statement of Mufti Hannan taken from him after keeping him on remand for 410 days.”
“Implicating Tarique Rahman in the August 21 grenade attack case is nothing but a matter of political vengeance,” he observed.
BNP standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Moudud Ahmed, Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, Abdul Moyeen Khan and Nazrul Islam Khan were, among others, present.