The ruling Awami League yesterday said it was neither unhappy nor fully satisfied with the verdicts in the grenade attack cases and that it would request the government to seek a stricter punishment for BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman.
Giving his instant reaction to the verdicts, AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader said, “We are not unhappy and also not fully satisfied with the verdicts in the August 21 grenade attack cases as the mastermind of the gruesome attack, BNP acting vice chairman Tarique Rahman, has not been handed capital punishment.”
Speaking at a programme at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre, Quader, also the road transport and bridges minister, said the prime target of the attack was the then opposition leader Sheikh Hasina, reports BSS.
“The plan of the attack was mapped out at the Hawa Bhaban,” he added.
The two-storey Hawa Bhaban in the capital's Gulshan had become the alternative centre of power of the then BNP-led coalition government.
Addressing a press conference at the AL president's Dhanmondi office, Quader yesterday demanded capital punishment for Tarique.
“On behalf of Awami League, I am demanding capital punishment for him [Tarique]. We will request the government to file an appeal against the verdicts.”
Meanwhile, Law Minister Anisul Huq said the government would seek a stricter punishment for Tarique.
Besides, tougher punishments would be sought for convicts Abdul Haris Chowdhury and Kazi Shah Mofazzal Hossain Kaikobad, the minister told reporters at his secretariat office.
After receiving the full text of the verdicts, the government would decide whether to move an appeal before the High Court seeking harsher punishments, he said.
Anisul said the government would try to bring home the fugitive convicts, including Tarique, Haris and Kaikobad, from abroad to put them on trial.
Expressing satisfaction at the verdicts, the minister said all the 49 accused were provided necessary facilities to defend themselves in the court during the trial of the cases.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said the fugitive convicts would be brought back home soon.
“I am satisfied with the verdicts as the court has handed punishment to the perpetrators of the attack,” he told reporters at his secretariat office.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam expressed satisfaction at the verdicts, but said Tarique should have been sentenced to death.
WORKERS PARTY, JSD SATISFIED
Workers Party of Bangladesh, a component of the AL-led 14-party alliance, expressed satisfaction at the verdicts.
In a press release, the party said the verdicts set an example of ensuring justice for political killings and also proved that none was above the law.
In another statement, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) said the rule of law has been established in the country through the delivery of the judgments.
“The grenade attack was an odious and well-planned political killing. Such killing was conducted to wipe out a political party [Awami League] by using the state machinery,” said the statement, signed by JSD President Hasanul Haq Inu and General Secretary Shirin Akter.
The JSD is also a component of the AL-led alliance.