Father of Bengali Nation

A blog of Moktel Hossain Mukthi

HUJI wants to Kill Hasina

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It was 5.23 pm on 21st august 2004 when Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina was wrapping up a rally protesting Sylhet blasts. A wave of grenade attacks on her left at least 16 people killed and left around 200 persons critically injured including top Awami League leaders Abdur Razzak, Amir Hossain Amu, Suranjit Sengupta, Ivy Rahman and Kazi Zafarullah.
The party secretary on Women affairs Ivy Rahman died in the Hospital later in the day. The unknown assailants fired seven bullets at the bulletproof SUV that Hasina boarded immediately after the blast.
The unusually poor deployment of police at the rally and the absence of forces on nearby building rooftops are a remarkable deviation from the usual practice.
Motaher Hossain, general secretary of AL Krishak League said some people on the roof of Ramna hotel and adjacent building were throwing bombs. At least 13 grenades exploded one after another, and also who were present on the spot told a white Microbus carried of some injured person who were among the assailant and were wounded by their own bomb.
Blame game started at the very moment Hasina spoke out loud about government’s conspiracy to kill the remaining member of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujiber Rahman’s remaining family members, BNP leaders hold back and Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan commented that they have blamed the government out of emotion. But soon BNP leaders changed their tone and started to blame AL for attacking their own rally, they argued AL had done it to destabilize the country and discredit the government only to grab the power.
Fiction and conspiracy theories were put forward by various columnists in the media. Pro Awami columnists blamed the fundamentalist forces and the right wing coalition government for this attack while pro BNP columnists blamed AL and pointed finger towards the country’s biggest neighbor India.
However most columnists inclined towards Awami league and left parties and leaders and activists of these parties discovered a pattern in the bomb blasts. In most cases secular forces and those who believe in culture, tradition and democratic values had been the target. The same group was behind the attack on Hasina’s rally.
Those pro BNP columnists pick up the same incident and argued Hasina was not the target of those assailants, if she were their target then why none of those grenades fall on the truck and also wrote thousand pages about AL’s possible motive behind this?
Some suspected it as a plot by international Muslim extremist groups; some pointed towards the association of ISI (Inter Services Intelligence); while Jamaat leader Matiur Rahman Nizami believes it is the work of “well known enemies of Islam” who masterminded, through various covert organizations, to carry out such brutal murders.
It became increasingly hard to dig out the truth from these fictions. With conspiracy theories you can use any piece of evidence to either prove or disprove your opinion and you can pick up any particular incident to strengthen your position. Truth has many faces but with conspiracy theory all you can achieve is a thousand shade of the truth and all these are equally probable and could be equally false.
In this present regime we have finally a charge sheet that clearly indicates Awami Leagues position is correct in this issue, RAB and other government intelligence agency finally concluded that Islamic militants are behind this attack and also a small fraction of BNP activists patronized this attack.
But is it the whole truth or only a facade? Lets look at the proceedings of the investigations.
To investigate 21st August 2004 bomb blast then BNP government first employed metropolitan police’s detective branch to investigate this incident, then this case was handed over to the criminal investigation department of Bangladesh Police. Five investigating officer under 3 officers in charge investigated this incident for over 4 years and they had submitted two charge sheet contradicting each other.
What is the progress in this case? When ever you ask this question to a law enforcement officer, a certain reply will be that “we are still investigating this matter. We had some lead but for the sake of this on going investigation we can not tell you anything.” Even after submitting charge sheet against 22 person in June 11, 2008 and acquitting all other person found guilty (on the first charge sheet presented by the CID), still the investigation has not been closed. So far we have 2 persons who claimed that they had actively participated in this failed assassination. On 26th June, 2005 Joj Miah from Noakhali confessed to police that for 5000 taka he carried out this attack under the order of Subrata Bain, a top terrorist. Subrata Bain and his group had close ties with some notorious AL leaders and they fled to India after alliance government took over the state in October 2001. He confessed to a magistrate that he had never seen any grenade before but Subrata Bain, Joy, Molla Masud ordered him to participate in this assassination. ASP of Police [CID] Abdur Rashid was the investigation officer then.
But the government were not satisfied with this finding so led by Munsi Atikur Rahman the investigation continued. The investigation found a paved path established by the coalition government.
So far we have two investigation reports, one of them was by Justice Jaynul Abedin, chairman of the one man investigation committee formed by the government to investigate 21st august grenade attack on Awami leagues rally. Awami League has rejected this report claiming it lacks neutrality. And another one was submitted by the Supreme Court Bar Association. According to Moudud Ahmed, who was Law minister at that time, claimed that this inquiry committee is illegal.
Jaynul Abedin’s investigation report:
Justice Jaynul Abedin had submitted his 162 pages manuscript of coalition governments collective story on 2nd October 2004. He was the member and chairman of one man inquiry committee formed by the government to investigate the grenade attack on Awami League rally on 21st august. On the eve of this submission those authorities in concern had invited journalist to give some insight of the report.
After scrutiny, critical and painstaking analysis, Jaynul Abedin did omit the possibility that coalition government and his ally, some extremist religious group and a part of Awami League was behind this heinous attack on Awami League activists.
But he did claim with certainty that a foreign intelligence agency actively participated in this event. They trained those assailants and equipped them with necessary ammunitions. He described this event on that informal press conference, “this incident is a naked attack on the independence and sovereignty of the country.”
Because Jaynul Abedin was a BNP activist in the past, Awami League questioned the neutrality of the investigation committee. Even though 123 people given their statement to this committee but that does not include Sheikh Hasina, who was the prime target of this massacre. Sheikh Hasina rejected the call for her statement.
In that one and half hour informal briefing on the report prior to its submission Jaynul concluded “the commission may not have received cooperation from all, which may have somewhat hindered the investigation, but the inquiry is in no way incomplete.”
Like any other investigation report submitted by any government formed investigation committee it also embraced the fate to remain unpublished till-to-date.
The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) inquiry committee report:
On 22nd august, 2004, immediately after the grenade attack, The Supreme Court Bar Association formed an inquiry committee. Barrister Kamal Hossain was elected as the chairman of that committee and the other members of this committee were Rokonuddin Mahmud, Abdul Malek, Amir-ul-Islam, M Zahir and Muhammad Ayenuddin.
While Hasina wrapped up the rally, at that very moment a grenade went off loud and it was followed by at least 10 such explosions. Awami League leaders formed a human shield to cover Hasina from the splinter, they were injured in this process and soon after they escorted Hasina to her bullet proof SUV and Hasina left for Sudha Sadan, while on the move that SUV was attacked by bullets. Witnesses on their statement confirmed the SCBA inquiry committee that they had not seen any member of the law enforcing agency in action there.

After inspecting the place of occurrence on 27th august 2004 they went to Sudha Sadan, where Hasina assured the committee her full cooperation to find out the truth. Hasina’s security personal and her driver gave their statement to this committee and this committee also inspected the SUV.

Driver on his statement told the committee that he drove towards the east, then took a left turn and then he drove towards Sudha Sadan through zero point. But police officers deployed at the rally on 21st August on their statement said to inquiry committee, SUV carrying Sheikh Hasina away from that place drove westward, took a right turn, and then went to Sudha Sadan through zero point.

On 16th, 17th, 18th September the committee watched the video tape recorded by ATN, Channel I and NTV. On ATN video tape they saw a young man purposefully looking towards the multi storied Dhaka City Bhaban. Apart from this, on Channel I and NTV footage some suspicious incidents were seen by the committee members.

The inquiry committee sent two letters to Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, requesting her to extend cooperation for the inquiry and to direct the law enforcing agency to cooperate with them in interest of its work.

A letter was sent from the inquiry committee to IGP Shahudul Huq on 29 August 2004 requesting him to direct the police authorities to inform the inquiry committee of the number of persons who were deployed for maintaining the law and order in the public meeting on 21st August 2004 with the descriptions of their duties and locations.

After 3 weeks another letter was sent to him, requesting for his interview. The inquiry committee requested state minister of home affairs, but all of them turned down their request further more the law minister Moudud Ahmed on several occasion said that this inquiry committee had no legal basis and any report of any such illegal committee should not be recognized.

But the government did inform the SCBA inquiry committee that they had done every thing that is possible for them and sent a copy of the statement made by the State Minister for Home Affairs in the Parliament. In that speech the State Minister mentioned that the police made all out efforts to identify the culprits immediately after the incident and within 24 hours a Judicial Inquiry Commission was constituted with a judge of the Supreme Court as the sole Member. He also mentioned that the Government also arranged for an “international” inquiry into the 21st August incident side by side with Bangladesh police investigation and in response to the Government invitation 3 (three) teams from Interpol visited Bangladesh and helped the inquiry. Besides this, the government had also taken cooperation of FBI of USA.

The SCBA inquiry committee made repeated requests at the highest levels of the government for obtaining copies of reports of earlier bomb-blasts, the report of the ‘judicial inquiry’ into the 21 August, 2004 constituted by the Government, and other documents and information, but such requests have till-to-date were turned down.

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) inquiry committee concluded it was a pre-planned attack, carried out on the basis of a carefully prepared plan, targeting Sheikh Hasina and other leaders and persons attending the rally. The firing of the bullets and grenades on the vehicle by which she was leaving the place of occurrence, confirms that she was the target.

The committee urged government to publish all reports of investigation within one month or else public may lead to believe attempt on Sheikh Hasina’s life was to some extent was patronized by this government.

The alleged HUJI rage against Awami League:

Some columnists claimed in the media that the AL government, after assuming power in 1996 barred Islamic scholars from issuing fatwa’s through a High Court order. The government also came on strong against the right wing protesters and arrested hundreds across the country. This had angered HUJI.

Mufti Abdul Hannan, the operative commander of the banned Harkatul Jihad-al-Islami revealed on 19th November 2006.

“I masterminded all grenade attacks across the country excepting the August 21, 2004 gruesome attack on the AL rally, and three people financed the outfit for carrying out the attacks”

Hannan gave another detailed statement on 1st November 2007:

“Kajol was given the responsibility to collect funds and grenades for the attack. They decided that 12 persons would carry out the attack and Kajol and Abu Jandal would select the commanders of the operation. It was decided that Kajol and Jandal brief the attackers about their positions and Jandal would throw the first grenade after getting instruction from Sayeed. The others would throw their grenades at around the same time. Hannan said the attackers targeted the truck and left the spot individually after the operation.”

However question remains as why HUJI chose to attack Hasina after all those years and during the period when there was a row of political killings of Awami League leaders (Kibria, Ahsan Master etc.) were happening. HUJI members were used but who masterminded the attack?

The BNP connection:

In January 2008, former deputy minister for information of the BNP government Abdus Salam Pintu was arrested for his involvement with the grenade attacks on Awami League rally on August 21 in 2004. He was arrested on the basis of confessional statement made earlier by detained Mufti Hannan who claimed that the attack on the AL rally was planned at the official residence of the former Deputy Minister. Hannan said that Pintu was present at the meeting and later supplied the grenades.

He made startling disclosure to interrogators about the involvement of former State Minister of Home Lutfuzzaman Babar and ‘Hawa Bhaban’ in the grenade attacks. From The New Nation:

“The CID officer said they were certain after the arrest of Mufti Hannan and Pintu that the attack on the AL rally had been aided and abetted by Lutfuzzaman Babar and the Hawa Bhaban.

“To hide the truth, former investigation officer Ruhul Amin, a CID officer, had gone to Pintu’s house several times,” he said, and added, “former State Minister of Home Babar was involved in the entire process and Pintu would regularly inquire with him about the progress.”

Pintu’s counsel Advocate Sanaullah Mia, however, told : “He was implicated only because his cousin Maulana Tajul Islam, a militant leader and an accused in the grenade attack case, had visited his house when Pintu was a Minister,”

HUJI is the culprit but who used them and why?

On June 11, 2008 charges were finally made against 22 persons including top Harkat-ul-Jihad (Huji) leader Mufti Abdul Hannan and BNP leader and former deputy minister Abdus Salam Pintu. Newspaper reports say:

“CID Chief Additional Inspector General Jabed Patwari said HUJI top leaders planned and carried out the attacks to kill Hasina as a few arrested attackers said in their confessional statements that Hasina would harm Islam if she was alive and came to power again.

BNP leader Pintu is not involved with Huji but he has been charged since the attackers had held two meetings at his residence to take decision about the attack.”

But the question remains whether HUJI tried to kill Hasina on their own or it was a political assassination plot linked by BNP to take out the opposition. Like every other political massacre the 21st August grenade attack on Hasina has no clear motive whatsoever and after 4 years of investigation we are not certain whether those who were behind this ghastly attack have finally been exposed. Will we be able to know the trut

Rasel Pervez, prominent blogger in Bangla blog sphere who is famous for his political analysis. Mr, Rasel Pervez completed his MS on Physics from the US and awaiting PHD.

One Response to HUJI tried to kill Sheikh Hasina: Conspiracy Theory Or Truth?

Khondkar Abdus Saleque on November 20, 2008 at 6:45 pm

Why always Sheikh Hasina an progressive force like Kazi Aref,Udichi,Ramna Batomul,Progressive Journalists of Khulna( Humayun Kabir,an Others),Poet Shasur Rahman ,Dr Humayun Azad and others were target of terrorists?Why no one of so called nationalist or self styled Islamic force came under attacks of terrorists? What does this mean? These terrorists act as agents of identified beneficiaries to make the politics clean of progressive patriotic democratic forces to serve the interest of the so called nationalists.Bangla Bhai wanted to talk with Journalists before execution to tell the truth but was not allowed.If he could talk he woul definitely have exposed many involve in making him big.In Bangladesh politics of killings will never be over until all killings are fairly an openly tried.
The trial of 21 August grenade attack must be held properlyto punish the real criminals, sponsors and mastermind.Such organised crime can not happen in the heart of the capital city in the broa day light without knowledge and active support of the party in power.People say Ziaur Rahman ha moral support to August 15,1975 mid night massacare .No one shoul be surprised if Babar, Hawa Bhaban and intelligence agencies were actively behind August 21 carnage on Hasina meeting.History will reveal someday.


Author: জাতিরজনক বঙ্গবন্ধু

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was born in a respectable Muslim family on 17 March,1920, Tungipara village under the Gopalganj district. He was the third child among four daughters and two sons of Sheikh Lutfur Rahman and Saira Begum. Bangabandhu started his school life at Gimadanga primary school at the age of seven. At eighteen he married Begum Fazilatunnesa. They subsequently become the happy parents of three sons and two daughters. All the sons were too killed along with their parents on 15 August, 1975. Bangabandhu passed the entrance exam and joined the Kolkata Islamia College and elected the General Secretary of the college union. During the riot of ’47, he took a pioneering role in protecting the Muslims and trying to contain the violence. Bangabandhu admitted into Dhaka University. He founded the Muslim Students League on January 4, 1948. Bangabandhu was one of the front line leaders of the language movement and was arrested on March 11, 1948. On July 9, Bangabandhu was elected general secretary of East Pakistan Awami League at its council session. He was the adjacent point of Jukta Front among Shere Bangla, Maolana Vashani and Hossain Shahid Sarwardi. In 1955, he was elected a member of the legislative assembly on June 5. In 65, government deemed him as the main culprit and charged with sedition case. But then came the historic moment of February 5, 1966. Bangabandhu placed the historical 6-point demand before the select committee of the conference. This historical 6 point-demand paved the way of our Great Liberation War. In ’68, the Pakistani government instituted the notorious Agartala conspiracy case against Bangabandhu. In ’69, the Central Students Action Council was formed to press for the acceptance of the 11-point demand that included the 6-point demand of Bangabandhu.The movement peaked into an unprecedented mass upsurge that forced Ayub Khan to bow to the continued mass protests and freed Bangabandhu and the co-accused. In February 23, at the race course (Suhrawardi Uddyan), before a million of people, Sheikh Mujib Was publicly acclaimed as ‘Bangabandhu (Friend of Bengal). On December 5, Bangabandhu declared at a discussion meeting that East Pakistan would be called ‘Bangladesh‘instead of ‘East Pakistan’. In 1970, Bangabandhu was re-elected President of Awami League. Under his spurious leadership, Awami League took part in the General Election of ’70 and gained absolute majority. Awami League secured 167 out of 169 National Assembly seats and in the East Pakistan gained 305 out of 310 Provincial seats. On March 7, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman addressed a mammoth public rally at the RaceCourse ground, where he declared: ”This struggle now is the struggle for emancipation, this struggle now is the struggle for liberation.” After that speech, the whole of Bangladesh was static in every sphere and started to follow every command of Bangabandhu. On the fierce night of March 25, the Pakistani Army cracked down on the innocent unarmed Bangalees. Bangabandhu, in a wireless message, called upon for an entire resist from every section of the society. He was arrested by the Pakistani army on that night. Bangabandhu was sentenced to death by the Pakistani army. In December 16, 1971, Bangladesh became a free nation under the leadership of Bangabandhu. Bangabandhu was freed from the Pakistani jail on January 8, 1972 and returned to his beloved country on January 10. After that started the reconstruction work of the country. And under the leadership of Bangabandhu, the country piled up to the acme of the development. But…. in the pre-dawn hours of 15 August, the noblest and the greatest of Bangalees in a thousand years, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was assassinated by a handful of treacherous military officers. Father of the Nation' is an honorific bestowed on individuals who are considered the most important in the process of the liar establishment of a country or a nation. They are instrumental in the birth of their nations by way of liberating them from colonial or other occupation. George Washington is the father of the United States, Peter I of Russia, Sun Yat-sen of China, Sir Henry Parkes of Australia, Miguel Hidalgo of Mexico, Sam Nujoma of Namibia, William the Silent of the Netherlands, Einar Gerhardsm of Norway, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Carlos Mannel of Cuba, Mustafa Kemal of Turkey, Sukarno of Indonesia, Tunku Abdul Rahman of Malaysia, Mahatma Gandhi of India, Don Stephen Senanayake of Sri Lanka and Mohammad Ali Jinnah of Pakistan. So is Bangabandhu, the Father of the Bangladesh nation. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (1920-1975) is the architect of our country and the nation by all implications of the term. As a matter of fact, what we now call Bangladesh was never independent in the truest sense of the term before 1971. It was Mujib and only Mujib who gave the nation a real touch of freedom. It was quite a trek into the long way of freedom from all-out oppression through autonomy and home rule in which he gave the active lead. He was the fearless fighter of the Language Movement of 1952; the pioneer of the democratic movement of 1962; the architect of the Six-point Movement of 1966; the life-force of the Mass Movement of 1969; the enviable victor of the election of 1970 and, above all, the greatest hero of the Liberation War of 1971. He is undisputedly the founder of independent Bangladesh and, therefore, the Father of the Nation. It is really a matter of regret that we are not well aware of this greatest national leader. But who is to blame for that? As a matter of fact, there has been a long chain of conspiracy to make people oblivious of Bangabandhu. It began with his assassination on the inauspicious August night of 1975. Ever since then the country fell mostly under the sway of despotic military rule accompanied by the corrupt politicians, opportunistic bureaucrats, pseudo-democrats and religious fundamentalists. They had one thing in common i.e. Bangabandhu-bashing. They tried to indemnify the killers of Bangabandhu, and rewarded them with lucrative portfolios. They took sustained efforts to erase the image of Bangabandhu from the minds of the people by distorting history. They tried to obliterate the memories of Bangabandhu from the pages of history, inscriptions of monuments and from whatever holds the recollections of Mujib. The anti-Mujib campaigners are not, however, as powerful as history itself. History takes its own course, maybe after quite a long time. But this is inevitable. So, the anti-Mujib campaigners have vainly tried to change the course of history eventually making a mockery of it. What they had done at best is that they had fooled some people for sometime or what they can still do is that they can fool some people for all time, but they can never fool all people into believing a false story for all time. People must be endowed with a true sense of history today or tomorrow. To look into one's own history and culture and to go for the quest for national identity and cultural heritage have become an imperative in these postcolonial days. Ours is not a poor socio-political and cultural legacy. We fought valiantly a war of independence under the leadership of Bangabandhu. We can very well come up with this political legacy and assert ourselves more. We can uphold the ideals of Bangabandhu to rebuild our nation. Mujib is really Bangabandhu, friend of Bangladesh. And hence he could utter: 'Standing on the gallows, I will tell them, I am a Bengali, Bangla is my country, Bangla is my language”. On the black night of March 25, when it was suggested that he go into hiding, he flatly refused and retorted: “I must share the sufferings of my people along with them. I must share. I cannot leave them in the face of fire. I cannot.” Really he did not flee to safety from the war-torn country. Rather he willingly became the first prey to the marauding force. Love for the motherland had prompted him to take such a risk. Afterwards, over nine long months, day after day and night after night in the dark cell of the prison camp, he longed for the freedom of his country. The unbearable suffering of the dungeon could not sap the strength of his patriotism. On his return home on 10 January 1972, addressing a huge gathering in Suhrawardy Uddyan, Bangabandhu declared: "Bangladesh has earned independence. Now if anybody wants to seize it, Mujib would be the first man to sacrifice his life for the protection of that independence". His country was all important to him. He believed it was his calling to do well to his country, not to look forward to anything in return. He often used to mention the famous quote by President John F. Kennedy: “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country". Such a big man was Bangabandhu! The undisputed Father of independent Bangladesh. To be unaware of this is sheer ignorance. To deny this is an offence against history.

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