“We’ll surely go to the High Court as there’s a scope to carry out a legal fight for the maximum punishment of Tarique Rahman,” he said.
Quader, also the Road Transport and Bridges Minister, further said, “Harkat-ul-Jihad leader Mufti Hannan in his confessional statement said they made the attack at the behest of Tarique Rahman. So, the mastermind of the killing must be awarded the highest punishment.”
He came up with the remarks while talking to reporters after placing wreaths at a makeshift altar in front of the party’s central office at Bangabandhu Avenue.
The minister said the BNP-Jamaat alliance regime carried out the grisly grenade attack on Awami League’s an anti-terrorism public rally targeting then opposition leader Sheikh Hasina their prime target on this day in 2004.
He said the two incidents of history --August-15 association of Bangabandhu and most of his family members and the August 21-grenade attack-- are inseparable as those were carried out with the same motive.
Quader also said the working relationship that needs to remain between the government and the opposition party got finished forever through the August 21-incident.
Even after that, he said, Awami League tried to normalise the relations with BNP as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina invited Khaleda Zia to Ganobhaban before the January-5 national election in 2014.
“Our leader also went to Khaleda Zia’s office to console her following her son’s death. The country’s people know they misbehaved with the Prime Minister. On that day, the BNP shut the door of dialogue in Bangladesh politics by closing the door on the face of the Prime Minister.”
The AL general secretary also blamed BNP for destroying the working relations among the political parties in the country. “It won’t be possible for us to forget the pain of bloody August-21 incident.”
The grenade attack was carried out on an anti-terrorism rally arranged by Awami League at Bangabandhu Avenue on August 21, 2004 during the BNP-Jamaat alliance rule, with a target to kill then opposition leader Sheikh Hasina.
At least 24 leaders and activists, including Awami League women affairs secretary and late President Zillur Rahman’s wife Ivy Rahman, were killed and 300 others injured in the grenade attack. However, Sheikh Hasina fortunately escaped the attack unhurt but her hearing was affected badly.
Nearly 14 years after the gruesome grenade attack, a Dhaka court on October 10 last year sentenced 19 people, including the then BNP-led government’s state minister for home affairs, Lutfozzaman Babar, to death.
Tarique Rahman, the exiled eldest son of jailed BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia and the party's current acting chairman, and 18 others were also sentenced to life in prison in the case.