Finally after long 14 years, the verdict on the 21 August Grenade Attack case has been delivered by the Speedy Tribunal-1. With awarding all the criminals sentences of different terms, the nation has been literally relieved of the ignominy it had been putting on for so long. The verdict has highly proved the crucial maxim that it is truth which prevails in the end and also that one will definitely get justice even if it is delayed for some time. That no untoward political incidents, over the verdict, have happened across the country ascertains that the people, too, were waiting for the verdict to come out. It is now hoped that the punishments of the criminals, through abiding by all legal procedures, be executed and the fugitives be brought back in the country as soon as possible to make them face their penalties.
The 21 August grenade attack in 2004 on an anti-terrorism rally of the Awami League, the then opposition party, at Bangabandhu Avenue was one of the worst-ever political assaults to annihilate the opposition politics from a democratic dispensation which was earned through a sea of bloodbath in the 1971 War of Liberation. In that gruesome attack, a total of 24 AL leaders and activists, including Mohila AL president Ivy Rahman, were killed and several hundreds were injured who are still bearing the splinters of grenades in their bodies. The AL Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina narrowly escaped death though with an ear injury.
As all know the attack was carried out during the tenure of BNP-Jamaat led alliance government aiming at assassinating Sheikh Hasina, with a view to exterminating AL — the party that led the liberation war — it is of no doubt that liability of the attack primarily goes to the then government. They, too, ultimately proved it by making efforts to bury the truth through staging the ‘Jaj Mia Drama’ and derailing the investigation. We also saw they even tried to put the blame on AL and also on India in a bald-faced style. But fresh investigations brought out the real names, specifically the influential leaders of BNP and Jamaat and a band of senior officials of the government, who masterminded the entire conspiracy.
That the repulsive culture of bad politics in Bangladesh born out of this grisly attack on opposition party will take a long time to overcome, and one has little doubt about this fact. But let us hope that Bangladesh politics will recover from the wound through wiping out all forces that reside and hatch plots in the dark. Because Bangladesh is never born to be subdued to these evil elements.