Justice delivered, respect the law
Day before yesterday, a Dhaka court awarded death sentence to 19 people, including former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar and ex-deputy minister Abdus Salam Pintu, and handed down life imprisonment to 19 others, including BNP vice-chairman Tarique Rahman, for the grenade attack on an Awami League (AL) rally on August 21, 2004. Finally a 14 yearlong suspenseful waiting for the verdict of a 'state-sponsored crime' has come to an end. Dhaka's speedy trial tribunal delivered the verdict in a jam-packed makeshift special court set up beside the former Dhaka Central Jail on Nazimuddin Road in old part of the capital.
The verdict was announced in the presence of 31 out of the 49 accused in two cases filed following the deadly incident that killed 24 people, including the then Mahila Awami League chief Ivy Rahman, and wounded over 500 others, crippling some of them for life.
The point, however, neither the prosecution side nor the defence side was happy with the verdict. They vowed to move the higher court against the verdict. Both sides can lawfully attempt to move the verdict to the high court, but the law has taken its own course for deciding the fate of the criminals.
Our request towards both the political parties: The court system, at times, doesn't appear 'fair.' Sometimes, the system looks downright cruel and vindictive. But in order to deliver justice in accordance with the legal mechanism, the system is definitely fair. There are reasons and a legal process for making a decision. It is right exactly on this point where we expect the political parties to display due patience and show respect for the country's judicial system.
Nevertheless, we along with the rest of the country expect to see quick implementation of the verdict of this sensational August 21 grenade attack case. Needs be mentioned, up until now , 18 of the 49 convicts in the August 21 grenade attack case are still at large and police have been able to know the whereabouts only 8 of them. The remaining 10 needs to be located fast before they escape goes beyond our reach. We expect all the perpetrators of this heinous 'state-sponsored crime' to face justice.