Who was behind the August 21, 2004 murder plot against Sheikh Hasina left unanswered for years. But now shocking details are emerging.
Last year we learned that the former BNP lawmaker and deputy minister Abdus Salam Pintu Pintu was detained and charges were made against him and 22 persons including top Harkat-ul-Jihad (Huji) leader Mufti Abdul Hannan for the sensational August 21 grenade attack against Hasina. He confessed of his involvement in the assassination attempt during interrogation.
Now a Daily Star investigation reveals some characters behind the chilling conspiracy to kill Hasina. We hear that former home minister Babar 'supplied' grenades and the militant organization HUJI was used as mercenary group:
(Image courtesy The Daily Star) (Click here to read the rest of this entry)
On August 14: At Hawa Bhaban -- the alternative powerhouse of the BNP-led coalition government. At least nine people sat to discuss a recommendation coming from a series of meetings in the past. The Awami League was branded as the archenemy for the country and Islam, and it was recommended that its president Sheikh Hasina must die.
State minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar, deputy minister Abdus Salam Pintu, prime minister's political secretary Harris Chowdhury, a fugitive killer of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, a top Jamaat leader, two Huji founders and one leader of Al Markajul Islami found no reason to disagree. In the presence of a top Hawa Bhaban bigwig, they chose to kill.
The Daily Star obtained a highly privileged document in which a top accused of the grenade carnage gave some descriptions about how the killing mission had been organised. Most of the people whose names surfaced in the narration are either in jail or on the run and could not be contacted for comment.
Investigators are not sure as yet if the hair-raising conspiracy was designed with or without the knowledge of the then prime minister Khaleda Zia.
The report also discuss how there were attempts to tamper the investigations and bury the case:
Preferring not to be named, a number of officials involved with the investigations told The Daily Star that the truth was buried deep under a heap of lies as Babar led the cover-up mission as soon as the operation fell through.
With the nation reeling from shocks, a few groups of intelligence and police officials were busy then destroying, not collecting, evidence systematically from the crime scene. The evidence that could have been invaluable in the probes was swept under the rug, with unexploded grenades being detonated within nine hours after the attack. Two bodies were reported unclaimed and buried in Azimpur graveyard, without any post-mortem.
Steps had been taken to initiate stage-managed probes and fictitious characters were produced out of the blue to scuttle investigations throughout the tenure of coalition government.
Blogger Shadakalo critically analyzes this report:
Oct 27th’s newspapers carry major news regarding this. Daily Start has, citing anonymous sources and direct review of documents implicated a major BNP figure. But like a shy village bride who dares not call her husband by his name, Daily Star leaves out this BNP big-shot and just calls him “a top Hawa Bhaban bigwig.”
So it was not Khaleda Zia, it was not Tareque. Who was it that the Star can not name him? They also did not name an apparent killer of Sheikh Mujib who is absconding from Justice. Who is this fugitive who can not be named?
Amazing. If even half of this can be proven in a court of law, the political landscape is going to see a major change in the next 4 years.