Sheikh Hasina has no doubts about BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman’s involvement in the grenade attack that was meant to kill her 11 years ago.
“Just like Zia(ur Rahman) was involved in the Aug 15 (in 1975) massacre, Khaleda and her son was involved in the Aug 21 attack – there is no doubt about that,” the prime minister says.
A group of rogue army officers had assassinated the nation’s founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of her family members on Aug 15, 1975.
His daughter Hasina, then the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, had survived a grenade attack on an Awami League rally at Bangabandhu Avenue on Aug 21, 2004, when the BNP-Jamaat-e-Islami alliance was in power.
Twenty-four persons, including late President Zillur Rahman’s wife Ivy Rahman, were killed and numerous severely injured.
Hasina’s latest jab at her arch-political rival came on Friday at a discussion after she paid tributes to the victims of the attack at a temporary altar erected in their memory at Bangabandhu Avenue.
“We were attacked by terrorists during our anti-terrorism rally that day. Hundreds of leaders and activists were injured,” she reminisced.
“There are many people in front of me right now who are still carrying the splinters on their bodies.”
Friday’s discussion was held at the same spot where the 2004 public rally was held, on the street in front of the ruling party’s headquarters.
Hasina also came in the same bulletproof car that she had taken to the rally venue eleven years ago before the grisly attack.
“The BNP was in power at that time. Evidence of the attack was destroyed instead of preserving them. City corporation vehicles were brought in quickly and evidence was destroyed,” she said.
The Awami League has been alleging that the BNP were behind the attack and it was carried out only to assassinate Hasina, the president of the party.
Evidence submitted in court later also showed that the attempts were made to misdirect the investigation during the BNP-Jamaat government’s tenure.
Khaleda’s son Tarique Rahman, the BNP senior vice-chairman, was named in the grenade attack chargesheet submitted by the CID in 2011.
The BNP has always denied his alleged involvement and demanded a ‘proper’ investigation into the attack.
Hasina on Friday criticised the BNP leaders again for helping the ‘attackers flee the country’.
“And they allege I carried the grenades in my vanity bag and threw them myself. How disgusting!”