The ruling Awami League on Wednesday demanded death sentence for Bangladesh Nationalist Party acting chairman Tarique Rahman and trial of former prime minister Khaleda Zia for their involvement in the August 21, 2004 grenade attack to a rally of the party at Bangabandhu Avenue.

While addressing at a press conference at Dhanmandi office of the party president Sheikh Hasina to give a formal reaction of the party over the verdict, Obaidul Quade said the verdict of the August 21 grenade attack case which was delivered on the day is a ‘good one’.

‘But we are not fully satisfied as the mastermind of the grenade attack Tarique Rahman should get maximum punishment as he was directly involved with the planning of the attack,’ Quader said.

Quader said executed extremist leader Mufti Hannan confessed in court that the attack was planned in meetings held at the official residence of the then deputy minister for education Abdus Salam Pintu and at Hawa Bhaban which was controlled by Tarique Rahman.

‘We also demand trial of former prime minster Khaleda, who was in power and also in charge of home ministry during the attack,’ said Quader adding that the attack was a state-sponsored one.

‘Former prime minister Khaleda Zia cannot be spared from the responsibility of the attack which was planned to kill Awami League president and then leader of the opposition Sheikh Hasina,’ Quader said.  

A total 24 leaders and party activists including president of the Mahila Awami League Ivy Rahman were killed and some four hundred were wounded in the attack.

Quader also requested Awami League-led government to take steps for filing an appeal against the verdict.

The joint general secretaries of the party Mahbubul Alam Hanif, Dipu Moni, and  Jahangir Kabir Nanak, central leaders Ahmmad Hossain, Hasan Mahmud, Shammi Ahmed, Asim Kumar Ukil, Afzal Husain, Sujit Roy Nandi, Raymond Areng and others attended the press conference.

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