Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has recalled that it was the grace of Almighty Allah and people’s good wishes that she narrowly escaped the grisly August 21 attack in 2004.“Grenades were being exploded in all corners at that time. Political leaders and activists had built human walls surrounding me to protect me. I had been able to narrowly escape the death by the grace of Almighty Allah and people’s good wishes,” she said in a message on the eve of the 12th anniversary of the savage attack on Saturday.Sheikh Hasina, the then opposition leader, described the attack as a ‘stigmatized day’ in Bangladesh history.
“The main target of August 21 grenade attack was to impede the country’s independence, democracy, peace and the wheel of development. The target was to create a leadership vacuum in Bangladesh,” she said.The main objectives of the attack were to destroy the Liberation War spirit and give the culture of killing, conspiracy, militancy, terrorism, corruption and misrules a permanent shape, Hasina said.She said the barbaric grenade attack, sponsored by the then BNP-Jamaat alliance government, was launched at Awami League’s an anti-terrorism rally in broad daylight in city’s Bangabandhu Avenue to kill her.The Prime Minister recalled that 24 leaders and activists including then Mahila Awami League President Ivy Rahman were killed by the killers.She said many of over 500 injured leaders, activists, journalists and security personnel are still carrying the curse of disabilities. “Many are leading a painful life carrying splinters in their bodies.”The Prime Minister alleged that the then government had created a scope for the attackers to flee and many evidence were destroyed apart from staging ‘Joj Mia’ drama to fool people. “But the truth can never be buried. It was later revealed through investigation that many of BNP-Jamaat alliance leaders were directly involved,” the Prime Minister said in her message.She said the BNP-Jamaat alliance always engaged in evil designs to make Bangladesh a failed State patronising militancy and terrorists.The Prime Minister said the trial of August 21 grenade attackers is going on, and killings, terrorism and militancy will fully be buried from the country through holding fair trials of the grenade attackers, planners, instructors and their patrons.“The rule of law will be established. We’ll establish Sonar Bangla, the dream of Father of the Nation, by uprooting militancy. On this day, it’s my expectation,” she said.Earlier in a separate message, President Abdul Hamid termed August 21 a ‘black day’ and paid respect to all the martyrs who lost their lives on the day.“Their target was to stop the democratic process and establish militancy in the country by creating a leadership vacuum in Bangladesh and Bangladesh Awami League,” said the President.Both the President and the Prime Minister prayed for salvation of the departed souls and conveyed sympathies to the injured.They called upon all the people of the country to get united for building a propitious and peaceful democratic Bangladesh free from terrorism and militancy.