Aug 21 attack: BNP carried out one sided discussion in parliament

Emran Hossain Shaikh
Published : 17:31, Aug 21, 2019 | Updated : 17:34, Aug 21, 2019

This file photo shows an unexploded grenade on Bangabandhu Avenue after the attack on an Awami League rally in Dhaka on August 21, 2004.A parliamentary session sat on the 23rd day after the 2004, Aug 21 grenade attack, which was the 133rd session of the 8th parliament. Then opposition Awami League (AL) gave over two dozen proposals for dialogue but the then speaker, Barrister Muhammad Jamiruddin Sircar, did not accept them. Instead, he allowed the grenade attack and the floods to be discussed under general discussion.
Consequently, AL walked out of parliament and the one-sided discussion was carried out by BNP and allies.
In the discussion it was insinuated that the AL was behind the conspiracy to come to power.
The parliament session ran from Sept 12 till Sept 16 and in the four day session, grenade attack was discussed on the third day.
Former state minister for home Lutfuzzaman Babar, who is now under death sentence over his part in the attack, Golam Habib of Jatiya Party, Mahi B Chowdhury of Bikalpa Dhara, Kader Siddique of Krishak Sramik Janata League and other BNP leaders took part in the almost four hour discussion.
Earlier, mentioning the 21 August grenade attack, 18 AL MPs gave a notice which was dismissed by the speaker.
While dismissing, the speaker said: “After assessment of the notices, it appears that the issue is under investigation by a Supreme Court justice; in addition, cases have been lodged at INTERPOL and foreign intelligence agencies.”
At the discussion over the attack, BNP MP of Rajbari-1 Ali Newaz Kahiyam blamed AL for the grenade attack, saying: “When AL workers come down from stage, bombings are happening, which is mysterious.”
BNP lawmaker Shahidul Alam from of Jhenaidah-3 said: “They want to come to power using 22 dead bodies.”
Shamsul Alam Pramanik from Naogaon-3 said: “The bombs never fall in the trucks; they fall outside it which is suspicious.”
MP of Jhenaidah-2 Md Moshiur Rahman, said: “The grenade attack has harmed the BNP and benefitted the AL and Sheikh Hasina. In addition, all the major AL leaders escaped unscathed. Therefore, there is no doubt that this was engineered by AL.”
Abdus Sobhan, Jamaat MP of Pabna-5 observed: “They (AL) do not want proper investigation lest the cat comes out of the bag and the actual masterminds are exposed.”
The water resources minister, Hafizuddin Ahmed said: “AL are behind this since they are experts in bomb making.”
Meanwhile, Mahi B Chowdhury, said: “If attacks on opposition leaders are sidelined then we will not feel secure.” While Kader Siddique observed: “I do not know why the issue was not allowed to be discussed under clause 62.”
Siddique also asked for proper investigation over the role of security forces.
Mahi B Chowdhury also said: “This is a heinous crime, an attack not only on a political party and its leader but on Bangladesh.”
State minister for home, Lutfuzzaman Babar, said: “The accusations that I destroyed evidence are not correct; instead, the car of the opposition leader was not given as evidence.”
On the concluding day of the session on Sept 16, the then BNP secretary general and LGRD minister, Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan said: “At the order of the PM, probe body has been formed and local plus foreign intelligence agencies asked to investigate. But the opposition leader did not accept this; they do not want proper investigation of the incident and want to use it to gain political advantage.”