BNP leader Harris Chowdhury dies three months ago

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Dhaka, Jan 12: Fugitive BNP leader Abul Harris Chowdhury died at a hospital in UK three-and-a-half-month ago.

Harris Chowdhury, political secretary to former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, was the first person to vanish into thin air as a military-backed caretaker govt took over in 2007.

After long 15 years, his cousin claimed Harris died last September in the United Kingdom and was buried there.

One of the key political figures at that time, Harris was believed to be the mastermind behind the 21 August grenade attack.

The BNP leader reportedly died at a UK hospital three and a half months ago.

His cousin Ashiq Chowdhury, vice-president of Sylhet district unit BNP, shared a status on his Facebook page on Tuesday about Harris Chowdhury’s death.

Harris Chowdhury was infected with coronavirus and later hospitalised. He returned home after treatment at the hospital. Later, he fell ill again and died at a UK hospital in September, Prothom Alo reports quoting Ashiq Chowdhury.

Harris Chowdhury was the political secretary of former prime minister Khaleda Zia during the tenure of the BNP-led four-party alliance. After their departure from power, he left the country amid allegations of corruption.

He was sentenced to life in the 21 August grenade attack case on 10 October, 2018.

Also in 2018, Harish Chowdhury was sentenced to seven years in prison and fined Tk10 lakh in the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case on 29 October.

He was also an accused in the former Finance Minister Shah AMS Kibria murder case.

A total of 24 Awami League leaders and activists, including the then Mohila Awami League President and wife of late President Zillur Rahman, Ivy Rahman, were killed and over 500 others were injured in the monstrous attack on an AL rally at the capital’s Bangabandhu Avenue on 21 August, 2004.

Awami League President Sheikh Hasina, the then opposition leader in parliament, narrowly escaped the attack with severe ear injuries.

Grenades were charged one by one towards the then opposition leader and incumbent premier Sheikh Hasina after finishing her speech as she stood on the makeshift stage on a truck.

A Dhaka court on 10 October, 2018, sentenced 19 people to death including former state minister for home Lutfuzzaman Babar and awarded life imprisonment to another 19 including BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman in the murder case filed over that heinous incident.