21st of August today. On this day in 2004 at least 24 people including Mohila Awami League President and wife of former President Zillur Rahman, Ivy Rahman were killed in a deadly grenade attack on a rally of the then opposition party Awami League at Bangabandhu Avenue in the capital. About 300 people including Awami League President Sheikh Hasina were injured in the attack. Eleven powerful grenades were hurled at the makeshift stage on a truck, moments after Sheikh Hasina’s speech. The rally was organised in protest against countrywide militant attacks and police repression on Awami League leaders and workers in Gopalganj. Meanwhile, the trial of the 21st August grenade attack case has not been completed even after 12 years. The court has finished recording of deposition and cross examination of 223 prosecution witnesses after the submission of supplementary charge sheet. Recording of deposition of the remaining 288 witnesses is still pending. Chief Prosecutor, Syed Rezaur Rahman has said, the trial is at the final stage and it would be completed within this year.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called upon all to be united against those who indulge in terrorism and kill people by grenade. She said this at the 21st August memorial meeting at Bangabandhu avenue in the capital. The Prime Minister alleged that police had damaged the evidence of the attack and ensured their safe exit. Sheikh Hasina alleged that the BNP government instead of helping the injured, staged Joj Mia drama though the barbaric incident stirred the world conscience at that time. Earlier, the Prime Minister paid homage at the temporary alter erected at the place of grenade attack. She expressed sympathy to the family members who were killed and sustained injury in the attack.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has termed the speculations of mid-term election as another conspiracy. He said, the government must be compelled to hold an acceptable election to establish people’s voting rights. He said this at a memorial meeting of former Minister Shafiqul Gani Swapon at Dhaka Reporters Unity. At the meeting organised by Bangladesh NAP, he described the killing of 22 leaders and workers of Awami League in the 21st August grenade attack incident as very much regretful. Mirza Fakhrul also described the incident as a stigma in the country’s political history.
At least two people have been killed and more than one hundred injured in tornado at various districts across the country. Two people were killed and at least 30 others injured in cyclonic storm at Bakhunda area of Faridpur district. Besides many trees were uprooted. Meanwhile, vast areas were damaged as cyclone swept through Gaodia village of Lauhojong upazila in Munshiganj. At this time, at least 40 people sustained injury while more than 150 dwelling houses and shops were damaged. District administration informed that emergency relief has been arranged for the affected people. On the other hand, several hundred more houses were damaged at Majhirghat area of Jazira in Shariatpur. Two people were injured here. In Rangamati, landslide at Satchhori area owing to heavy rain suspended movement of traffic on the road beside the hill.