Then Khaleda govt tried to conceal bodies of August 21 grenade attack victims: PM

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Dhaka, Aug 24: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday alleged that the then Khaleda Zia government, which was involved in gruesome activities, did not want to hand over the dead bodies of August-21 grenade attack to their relatives.

“Not only they made killing attempts, but also carried out heinous activities with dead bodies after killings,” she said.

The Prime Minister said this in her introductory speech at the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) held at NEC Auditorium.

She joined the meeting virtually from her official residence Ganobhaban.

Talking about the 17th death anniversary of Ivy Rahman, former president of Bangladesh Mahila Awami League and wife of late president M Zillur Rahman, the PM said she was taken to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) for treatment.

“I don’t know when she (Ivy) died. Khaleda Zia had been there to see her. After her departure, Ivy Rahman was declared dead,” she recalled.

She mentioned that Ivy Rahman’s three children — Papon (present BCB president), Tania and Moyna — were kept under lock and key in a room for 3-4 hours while the then Prime Minister Khaleda Zia had been there.

The Prime Minister said the then BNP-Jamaat government also tried not to hand over the bodies of other deceased to their relatives.

“They would have concealed the dead bodies had they had that chance as the situation was like that,” she said.

Hasina said the party people had been there and they managed to hand over dead bodies to their relatives after working overnight.

From the very beginning, Hasina said, she was trying to help the families of the dead and injured of the August-21 grenade attack.

“We’ve been helping them from the Bangabandhu Memorial Trust,” she said.

Ivy Rahman, also former president of Bangladesh Mahila Samity, received grievous injuries during the grisly grenade attack on an Awami League rally at Bangabandhu Avenue in the city on August 21 in 2004 and succumbed to her injuries on August 24.