First, a question to the journalists in Bangladesh. On August 21, 2004, 22 people died in a grenade attack at a AL meeting. The wife of the current president of Bangladesh was one of the victims. Hundreds of others, including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina were injured. But Daily Star is calling it “Aug 21 Attack on Hasina, AL Rally.” Prothom Alo calls it “২১ আগস্ট গ্রেনেড হামলা মামলা”, Amader Shomoy called it “২১ আগস্ট গ্রেনেড হামলা মামলায় লুৎফুজ্জামান বাবর গ্রেফতার”, Ittefaq sings the same tune: “২১ আগস্ট গ্রেনেড মামলায় বাবরকে গ্রেফতার দেখানো হলো”.
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen of the 4th estate in Bangladesh, if you look at the severity of the crime, which one is higher? Is a grenade attack, or an unsuccessful attack on the PM more sensational than 22 murders? In terms of law, there is nothing worse than murder either. Then why is this clear-cut case of premeditated murder still being labeled the “Grenade attack case”?
Can you, for once, call a spade a spade, and this a murder case? Do not give us the excuse that the Police calls it a grenade attack case. Of course they do–you just reported that the then state minister for home affairs was involved in the cover up. By calling it the grenade attack case, you are still aiding and abetting the cover up.
The case related to 15th August is the “Mujib murder case”–no one calls it the 15th August shooting case. Can you journalists do the same for August 21 and help the departed get justice for their killing?
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.”
Since Hawa Bhaban was not the center of power for Bangladesh Magna Khawa Shomity, perhaps Daily Star can explain why a top Hawa Bhaban bigwig is also not a BNP bigwig?
The paper rightfully points out that “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.” Elsewhere, it mentions various alleged illegal activity by Tareque Rahman. If so, it would logically follow that Tareque is not the so-called bigwig, because obviously DS is not afraid of linking him to criminal activity.
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?
It is an otherwise damning report:
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.
On August 15: At the same office, the same group sat again. This time they discussed how to accomplish the mission. The fugitive killer suggested Hasina be attacked at her home, on road or at a rally. They settled for a rally, just six days away.
Now it was time they chose weapons. “Grenades are no problem,” said Babar. Earlier on April 2, 10 truckloads of smuggled arms and ammunition were seized in Chittagong and two more trucks reportedly went missing.
They decided to use grenades and rifles in the operation that was to be carried out either at Muktangon or in front of AL’s central office on Bangabandhu Avenue. The government was dithering over the permission for the rally.
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.
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.
J @ Shada Kalo [http://shadakalo.blogspot.com] writes using a pseudonym and is best known for exposing government, military, corporate foul plays through whistle-blowing investigative reports.
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