There is no question of Tarique Rahman stepping down from his role as the party chief, asserted BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
“Tarique’s sentence in the Aug 21 grenade attack was politically motivated,” he said at a media call on Friday (Oct 12).
“Did people ask the government to step down when hundreds were killed or went missing on their watch?”
The veteran BNP politician asked: “If BNP is held responsible for the events of Aug 21 then are we to believe that the incumbent government is responsible for the Holy Artisan attack and the Pilkhana tragedy?”
He stressed that it does not make any sense to put the Aug 21 attack in the same category with the Aug 15 (Bangabandhu) assassination and the Nov 3 Jail Killing of 1975 since BNP had not even been founded then.
“No court has indicted any BNP leader in either of those cases,” said Fakhrul.
He even called out to the media saying that a lot of information about Tarique Rahman has been misrepresented and distorted.
Fakhrul reiterated that the then BNP-Jamat regime conducted a thorough investigation into the case and arrested the main culprit, Mukti Hannan.
“This proves that the then-government had nothing to do with the attack.”
He accused the government of coercing a confession out of Mukti Hannan that indicted the acting chief wrongfully.
“The verdict clearly reflects the views of the ruling government.”
On Wednesday (Oct 10), Dhaka’s Speedy Trial Tribunal-1 sentenced former BNP ministers Lutfozzaman Babar, Abdus Salam Pintu and 17 others to the death row for their involvement in the 2004 attack on an Awami League rally.
BNP chief and former prime minister Khaleda Zia’s son, Tarique Rahman is currently a fugitive who has been given life sentence along with 18 others in the same case.