State seeks highest punishment for 2004 rally attack accused
January 1st, 2018 at 9:13 pm
State seeks highest punishment for 2004 rally attack accused

Dhaka – The prosecution lawyers on Monday sought capital punishment for the accused in the 2004 grenade attack on an Awami League rally in Bangladeshi capital that left at least 24 people killed.

The prosecution made the plea as the argument on legal point ends in the case filed over grisly grenade attack on the rally that was attended by top ranking leaders of the then opposition, including Sheikh Hasina.

Hasina narrowly escaped the attack, but 24 people were killed and many others injured. The attack was carried out on August 21, 2004.

Bangladesh Nationalist Party senior vice chairman Tarique Rahman, also the son of BNP chief Khaleda Zia, is one of the main accused in the case. He has been exiled to London since 2008 facing with few other corruption cases in home.

Chief prosecutor Syed Rezaur Rahman placed arguments on legal point, saying the state has successfully proved the case beyond any reasonable doubt.

“For the sake of justice and to meet the expectation of the justice seekers, we are pleading for the maximum punishment for the accused,” he said.

The senior jurist in his arguments referred different sensational cases including Bangabandhu murder trial, Judge Jagannath Pare murder trial, British envoy Anwar Chowdhury murder attempt trial and Rajiv Gandhi murder trial of India.

“The main aim of that barbaric attack was to eliminate the top leadership of Awami League including its president Sheikh Hasina and create a vacuum among the force in support of war of liberation and independence,” Rahman added.

The chief prosecutor further said another aim of the attackers was to unimpeded the activities of militant outfits like HuJI, Hijb-ul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Taiaba, Tehrik-e Jihad-e Islam and Rohingya Solidarity Organization (RSO) in the country.

Judge Shahed Nur Uddin of Dhaka 1st Speedy Trial Tribunal adjourned the hearing of the case until tomorrow, asking the defence to start placing arguments from the morning.

The prosecution on December 27, 2017, concluded its arguments on facts. In their earlier arguments, the prosecution said a total of five local and foreign militant outfits were involved in the attack, killing 24 leaders and activists of the Awami League party.

“Apart from these groups, Pakistan intelligence agency ISI and then BNP- Jamaat alliance government orchestrated the attack. The then government used Ministry of Home Affairs, DGFI, NSI and Bangladesh Police in executing the conspiracy,” he added.

Mohila Awami League President and wife of late President Zillur Rahman, Ivy Rahman, were among the dead.