Dhaka: Former Prime minister and opposition
leader Khaleda Zia`s "fugitive" elder son and 29 others were
on Sunday indicted by a special Bangladeshi tribunal over a 2004
grenade attack on current premier Sheikh Hasina`s rally that
killed 24 people and injured her.
"Charges were framed as the allegations against them were
proved primarily," judge Shahed Nuruddin of Dhaka`s Speedy
Trial Tribunal-1 pronounced, also indicting ex-junior minister
for home Lutfuzzaman Babar besides Zia`s son--Tarique Rahman--
and 28 others, formally launching the trial of the case.
The judge set March 28 for hearing the witnesses`
testimony as several senior police and army intelligence
officials were also found involved in the attack, said to be
carried out by banned militant outfit Harkatul Jihad al-Islami
The charges carry death penalty.
Awami League chief, Hasina, had narrowly escaped the
attack that crippled 200 party supporters while the dead
included party`s women front chief and President Zillur
Rahman`s wife Ivy Rahman.
However, Hasina suffered injuries to one of her ears
causing permanent disability. She even undertook treatment for
the same abroad.
Tarique, also the senior vice president of Zia`s
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), was accused of
masterminding the attack along with several party stalwarts
and leaders of their fundamentalist ally Jamaat-e-Islami.
Under the court order, Tarique and 19 others are being
tried in absentia as they "failed" to appear.
They have been declared as "absconding".
Tarique is also an accused in several other criminal and
graft cases pending for trial but is now in London on an
earlier granted government parole for treatment since 2008
though the parole was subsequently scrapped.