Dhaka, August 21: The nation on Sunday observed the 12th anniversary of the deadly terror attack on an Awami League public rally on August 21 in 2004, which was clearly targeted to kill the then opposition leader and now Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and other party leaders and activists.
With a renewed call and firm promise to fight against terrorism and militancy, the day is being observed across the country through various programmes including rally, discussions and special prayers, Doa and milad mahfil.
During the rule of BNP-Jamaat alliance government, the one of the most barbaric attacks in our history was carried in a plot of eliminating leaderships of Awami League (AL), the largest political party which brought independence to the nation under the great eadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
By the grace of the almighty, Sheikh Hasina and other front ranking leaders of AL escaped the carnage in front of AL office at Bangabandhu Avenue. AL leaders including the then mayor of Dhaka City Mohammad Hanif and Sheikh Hasina’s personal security squad saved their party chief forming a human shield around her.
Though Sheikh Hasina narrowly escaped the attack, she lost her hearing ability due to the impact of the repeated grenade blasts near the truck-dais of the huge public rally.
Later, AL leader Mohammad Hanif, who suffered splinter injuries on his head and other parts of the body, succumbed to serious pellet injuries at a hospital in Bangkok as the pellets of grenades could not be removed from his brain by operation.
But, 24 leaders and workers of AL, its associate bodies including the then Mahila AL president Ivy Rahman, wife of late President Zillur Rahman, were killed and over 500 others suffered splinter injuries in the attack and many of them became crippled for life.
Those other killed in the barbaric grenade attack included opposition leader’s personal security guard Lance Corporal (retd) Mahbubur Rashid, Abul Kalam Azad, Rezina Begum, Nasir Uddin Sardar, Atique Sarkar, Abdul Kuddus Patwari, Aminul Islam Moazzem, Belal Hossain, Mamun Mridha, Ratan Shikdar, Liton Munshi, Hasina Mamtaz Reena, Sufia Begum, Rafiqul Islam (Ada Chacha),Mostaque Ahmed Sentu, Md Hanif, Abul Kashem, Zahed Ali, Momen Ali, M Shamsuddin and Ishaque Miah.
Prominent among those suffered serious splinter injuries included Sheikh Hasina, Amir Hossain Amu, Abdur Razzak, Suranjit Sengupta, Obaidul Quader, Advocate Sahara Khatun, Mohammad Hanif, Prof Abu Sayeed, AFM Bahauddin Nasim, Nazrul Islam Babu, Awlad Hossain, Sayeed Khokon, Mahbuba Parvin, Advocate Umme Razia Kajol, Nasima Ferdous, Shahida Tarek Dipti, Rasheda Akhter Ruma,Hamida Khanam Moni, Engineer Selim, Ruma Islam, Kazi Moazzem Hossain and Mamun Mallick.
Marking the 12th grenade attack anniversary, the ruling AL, its associate bodies, its left-leaning allies and other political parties, sociocultural and professional organisations have chalked out different programmes across the country.
The day’s programme will start with placing wreaths at the temporary memorial at Bangabandhu Avenue at 4 pm. Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina along with national leaders will lay wreaths at the memorial to initiate the day’s programme.
She will also take part at the Munajat to be offered and a Milad and Doa mahfil to be organised at the venue seeking eternal peace of the souls of the martyrs of the incident.
Later, the Premier will meet the family members of the martyrs and those wounded in the heinous grenade attack. Sheikh Hasina will also take part in a discussion at the venue.