Lesson from August grenade attack

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Published on August 22, 2020
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Sharif Shahab Uddin:

There have been quite a number of reasons to believe that military dictator Ziaur Rahman was engaged in the conspiracy of assassinating Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman while his son Tarique Zia was the main architect of 21 August grenade attack to kill Sheikh Hasina, the daughter of Bangabandhu and the last hope of the people of Bangladesh. General Zia had a master plan to bring about a tragic end to the independence of the country by killing Bangabandhu while Tarique had a plan to cripple the leadership of Bangladesh Awami League by eliminating Sheikh Hasina, the main source of inspiration to the people, who dreamt a dream of a better future for the nation.

The 21st August grenade attack on the peace rally led by then leader of the main opposition Sheikh Hasina, now the Prime Minister, is the worst form of government-sponsored political violence ever carried out in the history of mankind.

The attack was perpetrated as per a diabolical design hatched by some stalwarts of the then BNP-led government who allegedly conspired to annihilate their political rivals, including Awami League President Sheikh Hasina, who was obviously the prime target. But their plot failed as Sheikh Hasina survived the attack narrowly as some of her party leaders protected her by forming a human shield around her.

The attack planned by Tarique Rahman was within the full knowledge of his mother, then prime minister and BNP chief Khaleda Zia. According to confessional statements by government officials, the then Directorate General of Forces Intelligence tried to investigate the incident, but Khaleda admonished them harshly. So, it is crystal clear that she is liable for the plan of the attack.

Moreover, the BNP-Jamaat-led government obstructed the investigation into the incident and the trial of the daylight crime with all the might it could muster at every step. More than 24 people, including Awami League’s women affairs secretary Ivy Rahman, were killed and over 400 people were seriously injured in that gruesome attack in 2004.

Any civilised person having a modicum of clean human conscience cannot resort to such brutality to tame their opponent. Only the cowards do not dare face off the opponents in open confrontation. They always try to find the back door for any attack. They can never do anything positive for the people or the country.

By carrying out grenade attack on Sheikh Hasina, the most popular political leader of Bangladesh, Tarique Zia and his mother dug their own political graves. World leaders got a clear idea about the motive of the BNP leadership and could get that people will certainly be no more with those who can commit such a heinous act of terrorism. They were also certain that Awami League Chief Sheikh Hasina was enjoying the full sympathy of the people of Bangladesh and she was the next prime minister in the making. So, greetings and felicitations started pouring in from around the world immediately.

Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique did not learn the lesson from history despite the killing of General Zia by the army which suffered most thanks to the recurring coups sponsored by General Zia himself with a view to eliminating brilliant army officers who did not support his illegal activities to cling on to power.

Khaleda and Tarique hatched a plan to kill Sheikh Hasina by the grenade attack but the nemesis avenged their wicked plot for which they are as though politically dead now. The BNP and Jamaat, which resorted to grenade attack, have been rejected by the people. They have politically buried themselves after perpetrating attacks on innocent people with petrol bombs, which burnt people alive and created horror in the country.

Through unleashing a horror of unprecedented brutality, the BNP and Jamaat have been identified by the western civilised world as terror organisations and lost their support once for all. The international community have turned their eyes from the BNP.

General Zia had introduced the politics of killings and violence and his son Tarique has followed in the footsteps of his father to practise the politics of killing and violence. Tarique should have learnt before entering the arena of politics that violence always breeds more violence, and it never pays.

There are reasons to believe that General Zia, Khaleda Zia and Tarique Zia have been identified as killers and, on the contrary, Sheikh Hasina has proved herself the saviour of the people through her pro-people activities over the decades. Sheikh Hasina has built a glorious image of Bangladesh by portraying the country as a development role model before the global community only in a decade.

She has made Bangladesh a country free from hunger and poverty and the people have full trust in her competence that she can make Bangladesh a developed nation before the 2041 target.

It is noteworthy that in the face of unceasing attacks on her, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the symbol of peace, progress and prosperity, did not budge a bit from her stance to run the country in a non-violent and peaceful manner. She did not avenge for the killing of Bangabandhu in the path of cruelty; rather she followed the path of trial of the killers by a conventional court. And thus she established the rule of law in the country.

Had she allowed her supporters, they could have finished the killers within an hour. But she has full respect for the independence of the country’s judiciary. When the trial of the killers was stopped by the Indemnity Ordinance, later Indemnity Act, Sheikh Hasina was just saying “if a common man has the right to have justice, why should not be so in the case of mine”. And she got the results of patience she showed.

Courtesy: Bangladesh Post