Dhaka: The "godfathers" of the 2004 grenade
attack on Awami League rally to assassinate Sheikh Hasina
would be meted out "exemplary punishment" after the completion
of the reinvestigation into the case, Bangladesh Home Minister
Sahara Khatun said on Friday.
"The assassins missed their main target, incumbent Prime
Minister Sheikh Hasina during the attack on August 21, 2004
but 24 people had lost their lives. We are ensuring exemplary
punishment of behind the scene godfathers of the attack," she
told a memorial function in the city.
Khatun, who was wounded along with some 300 others in the
attack on a rally of Awami League, said the nation would soon
come to know the masterminds after a reinvestigation into the
case was completed and an supplementary chargesheet was
submitted in court.
State-run BSS news agency, meanwhile, quoting officials
said the investigators found proof of "direct involvement" of
former premier and main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist
Party (BNP) chief Khaleda Zia`s elder son Tarique Rahman in
"We expect to submit the charge sheet by the year end...
but our re-investigations found direct involvement of three
BNP leaders in the attack," BSS quoted a police official.
The official said former Director General of the Forces
Intelligence (DGFI) Major General Sadique Hassan Rumi in a
statement to the investigators disclosed the names.
"We are now collecting the supporting evidences against
Tarique Rahman and Begum Khaleda Zia`s the then political
secretary Haris Chowdhury," the official said.
An investigation, which was earlier conducted under the
then junior home minister Lutfuzzaman Babar`s supervision, led
to the arrest of 20 people, but none were found guilty.
It prompted the subsequent military-backed interim
government to order a fresh investigation into the case.
Several foreign investigating agencies -- the Scotland
Yard, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the
Interpol -- had joined hands with Bangladesh investigators but
did not make much headway in the probe.
Investigators said they would also look into the role of
senior police and other security officials of that time as
deliberate attempts were made to "mislead" the case.
"The then government tried its best to protect the
killers although its moral responsibility was to arrest and
try the culprits," Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had alleged in
her statement recently.