Dhaka : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has accused the previous government led by rival Khaleda Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) of being “involved in all grenade attacks” during its rule.
She made the accusation Friday as the nation observed the completion of five years of a grenade attack on her political rally Aug 21, 2004, investigations into which are still underway.
“Our government will bring to book all involved or behind-the-scenes instigators of the grenade attacks and killings. We will ensure their punishment, no matter how powerful they are,” Hasina was quoted as saying by the New Age newspaper.
She called upon her countrymen to be “cautious and vigilant against all conspiracies”.
“If we remain united, we can free Bangladesh of murderers,” she said.
Hasina escaped the attack, when she was also fired upon, after being whisked away in a bullet-proof vehicle. But she nurses impairments in an eye and a ear.
Twenty-four people, including Ivy Rehman, wife of the country’s current president Zillur Rahman, were killed and hundreds injured in the attack.
Hasina and her political associates say the case was sought to be misdirected. Three investigating officials have been proceeded against for this.
The Zia government sought help of the Interpol and other foreign agencies to assist in the probe. But Hasina and her associates say there was deliberate delay and misdirection.
Hasina accused the BNP-Jamaat alliance government of masterminding the cross-country bombings on Aug 17, 2005, and said such well-orchestrated attacks would not have been possible without the government’s encouragement.
She said that politics of killing and repression in the country had begun during the rule of general Ziaur Rahman and “whenever his family members come to power, such attacks are mounted on peace-loving and democratic forces”.
Zia and her BNP, which lost last December’s election, oppose the government on most issues and allege that the Hasina government was “selling out to foreign forces”.
BNP secretary general Khandaker Delwar Hossain said his party would boycott the parliament session resuming Sep 7 as the government had “failed to build a congenial atmosphere”.