Hearings over 2004 Dhaka grenade attack to take place soon

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The Bangladesh High Court is expected to start holding hearings soon on the death references and appeals of the convicts in the two cases lodged over the grenade attack on an Awami League rally in Dhaka on August 21, 2004, that claimed the lives of 24 people, as the necessary preparations are almost complete.

Confirming the matter to IANS, Court spokesperson Mohammad Saifur Rahman said the overall preparations are at their final stage and the the hearing will begin after preparing the paper books by scrutinising all the documents carefully.

“Initiatives would be taken to start hearing of the cases soon as per rule,” Rahman, also a special officer at the court, added.

While talking about the progress on holding hearings on the matters, Attorney General AM Amin Uddin said lawyers have already been appointed by the state to defend the fugitive convicts in the two cases and initiatives would be taken to start holding hearings soon on a priority basis.

Awami League President Sheikh Hasina, the then opposition leader in Parliament, narrowly escaped the attack with severe ear injuries.

A Dhaka court on October 10, 2018, sentenced 19 people to death, including former state minister for home Lutfuzzaman Babar, and awarded life imprisonment to another 19 including BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman.

Judge Shahid Nuruddin of Dhaka’s Speedy Trial Tribunal in his judgment also sentenced 11 others to different terms of jail.

The judge also made a 12-point observation on the background, motive and consequences of the attack.

The death penalty convicts are Lutfuzzaman Babar, Salam Pintu, Mawlana Tajuddin, intelligence officials Major General (retd) Rezzakul Haider Chowdhury and Brigadier General Abdur Rahim, transport operator Md Hanif, militants Mowlana Sheikh Abdus Salam, Abdul Mazed Bhat, Abdul Malek, Shawkat Osman, Mohibullah, Abu Sayeed, Abul Kalam Azad, Jahangir Alam, Hafez Abu Taher, Hossain Ahammed Tamim, Moin Uddin Sheikh, Rafikul Islam and Md Uzzal.

Other than Tareq Rahman, the political figures who were handed down life imprisonments are former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s then political adviser Haris Chowdhury and former BNP lawmaker, Qazi Shah Mofazzal Hossain Kaikobad.

The others to serve the life term are the militants’ Shahadat Ullah alias Jewel, Abdur Rouf, Sabbir Ahmed, Arif Hasan, Hafez Yahia, Abu Bokor, Ariful Islam, Mohibul Muttakin, Anisul Mursalin, Mohammad Khalil, Jahangir Alam Badar, Mohammad Iqbal, Liton, Shafikur Rahman, Abdul Hai and Ratul Ahmed Babu.

The grenade attack took place at an anti-terrorism rally organised by Awami League on Bangabandhu Avenue.

Besides the 24 victims, more than 300 people were also injured,

The attack was carried out at 5.22 p.m. after Hasina had finished addressing a crowd of 20,000 people from the back of a truck.

–IANS

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