Manhunt launched for BNP leader`s son for staging blast

Last Updated: Monday, March 1, 2010 - 15:30

Dhaka: Bangladesh police on Monday launched a
manhunt for the son of a top opposition BNP leader for
allegedly staging a bomb blast outside party chief Khaleda
Zia`s office that had prompted the government to step up
security for her.

"We are looking for (Abdul Hamid) Paban", son of
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) secretary-general Khandker
Delwar Hossain, "in line with the confession of one of his
detained friends arrested in connection with an improvised
device blast," a spokesman of Dhaka metropolitan police said.
Paban has been a controversial figure and is facing a
series of criminal charges including for extortion. The
previous military-backed interim government had sent him to
jail and he is now out on bail following a High Court order.

The spokesman claimed Paban`s friend Golam Sabbir and
another activist of BNP`s student wing Pradip Saha had
confessed that Paban had hired two young men to stage the
"mock bomb blast" to "draw sympathy of BNP higher-ups".

It was earlier reported that Paban was slightly
injured in the blast. The incident had prompted BNP leaders to
demand elite Special Security Force (SSF) protection for Zia.

However, doctors at United Hospital, where Paban was
admitted after the blast, told reporters that he had not
suffered any external injury and had reported there with a
complaint of "chest pain".
"The whole charade was aimed at consolidating
(Paban`s) own position in the party," Dhaka police chief
Shahidul Haque was quoted as saying by The Daily Star.

BNP`s Senior Joint Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul
Islam Alamgir had yesterday brushed aside the allegation that
the party secretary-general`s son and his friends were
involved in the blasts.

"We blame each other if anything happens, it is
nothing but a part of our political culture," he told

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had ordered intensified
security for her arch-rival Zia after the main opposition
party said it feared for her life after the blast near her

The SSF commandoes are trained specially for providing
security to the VVIPS including the president and prime
minister and visiting heads of governments or states.


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First Published: Monday, March 1, 2010 - 15:30

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