999Published on August 24, 2022
Prime Minister's son and ICT Advisor Sajeeb Wazed Joy has said BNP leader Tarique Rahman had a meeting with the planners and enforcers at Hawa Bhaban prior to the August 21 grenade attack in 2004.
He said this in a post on his verified Facebook account with a 2-minute visual statement yesterday (August 23, 2022).
On August 14, 2004, Tarique had a meeting with the then BNP government's state home minister Lutfozzaman Babar, and Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (Huji-B) leaders Mufti Hannan and Maulana Tajuddin at Hawa Bhaban, an alternate powerhouse of BNP at the time, said Joy.
Tarique also gave an order to kill the then opposition leader Sheikh Hasina, promising assistance from law enforcement and state agencies to carry out the plan, he said.
The Hawa Bhaban meeting was also joined by Noor Chowdhury, self-confessed and convicted killer of Bangabandhu, Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid, former secretary general of Jamaat-e-Islami, Abul Harris Chowdhury, political secretary of the then Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, Abdus Salam Pintu, deputy minister of the BNP-Jamaat government, he added.
Two days later, on August 16, the second meeting was held at Babar's residence at the capital's Minto Road where the entire plan was chalked out and the decision was finalised, Joy continued.
Finally, they met again on August 18 at Pintu's residence where Babar, in presence of Pintu's brother Tajuddin and the then prime minister Begum Khaleda Zia's nephew Saiful Islam Duke, handed over 12 Arges grenades to Huji-B.
On August 21, 2004, Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami blasted the grenades at an anti-terrorism rally headed by the then opposition leader Sheikh Hasina in front of Awami League's central office at Bangabandhu Avenue.
The grenade blasts killed twenty-six leaders and activists of the Awami League and police helped attackers flee the scene.
Law enforcers even obstructed taking the wounded people to the hospital. Police started showering the spot with water to wash away all the evidence on the spot.
Later, Tarique and Duke, with the aid of state agencies, sent the mastermind of the attack Tajuddin to Pakistan, Joy said.