DHAKA: A Bangladeshi court on Sunday issued arrest warrants for the fugitive eldest son of former premier Khaleda Zia and 17 others over a 2004 grenade attack on an Awami League rally that killed 24 people and injured some 300 people, including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
46-year old Tarique Rahman, who is now in London on a government parole for treatment since 2008, has been indicted for abetting one of the worst political violence in the country in decades that led to severe injury to one of Hasina’s ears.
Chief metropolitan magistrate Enamul Haque issued the arrest warrants for Rahman and 17 others for the attack on the rally of Hasina on August 21, 2004.
CID earlier today formally charged Rahman, the senior vice president of main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), and 29 others of the attack after an “extended investigation” into the case.
“We have submitted the supplementary chargesheet after an extended investigation into the case,” CID’s special superintendent Abdul Kahhar Akhand told PTI.
Rahman is also an accused in several other criminal and graft cases pending for trial.
Akhand said their re-investigations suggested that operatives of militant Harkatul Jihad al Islami (HuJI) carried out the attack, which was backed by several stalwarts of the earlier BNP-led four-party coalition government and security and police officials.
Akhand said their protracted investigations had found the involvment of former state minister for home Lutfuzzaman Babar, Zia’s political secretary Haris Chowdhury, former minister and Jamaat-e-Islami leader Ali Ahsan Mujaheed and incumbent BNP lawmaker fugitive Mofazzal Hossain Kaikobad.
The arrest warrant for Rahman comes weeks after a court sentenced his younger brother Arafat Rahman Koko to six years in prison for money laundering.