19 accused in Aug 21 grenade attack case fleeing justice

Bangladesh’s law-enforcing agencies believe they are abroad.

One of the accused, Maulana Tajuddin, has an Interpol red notice on him.

It has been three years since the court started trying these 52 persons following re-investigation but the government has not taken any initiatives to bring them back.

A day before the 10th anniversary of the gruesome attack, bdnews24.com approached AIG Mahbubur Rahman, in-charge of Interpol’s Bangladesh desk National Central Bureau (NSB).

He pointed the finger at the CID.

He said Tajuddin had a red notice against him and that the NSB would take steps if the CID wanted.

However, the case’s last investigation officer police’s special superintendent Abdul Kahhar Akanda said they were still investigating the matter.

“We are inquiring about them,” he said.

“A decision will be taken on the Interpol red notice after talking to the higher authorities,” he told bdnews24.com.

Aknada is “absolutely sure” that those absconding have fled Bangladesh.

Tarique Rahman, Senior BNP Vice-Chairman of BNP and eldest son of party chief Khaleda Zia, is currently in London.

Another two accused — ‘Mursalin’ and ‘Muttakim’ — are in Indian jail, according to the investigation officer.

He said he did not have accurate information on the whereabouts of others.

A CID source said former MP Mofazzal Hossain Kaikobad was in Thailand, Hanif Paribahan owner ‘Hanif’ was in India, ATM Amin in the US, Saiful Islam Joardar in Canada, and Babul alias Ratul Babu was in India.

However, another source said Kaikobad was in Saudi Arabia.

Others absconding include Khaleda’s former political secretary Haris Chowdhury, Shafiqur Rahman, Mufti Abdul Hye, Maulana Abu Bakar, ‘Iqbal’, Khalilur Rahman, Jahangir Alam Badar, Maulana Jubair alias Delowar, Maulana Tajul Islam, former police officer Obaidur Rahman and Khan Sayed Hasan.

Twenty-five of the accused, including former minister and Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujaheed, and former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar, former state minister Abdus Salam Pintoo, Harkatul Jihad leader Mufti Abdul Hannan, are in jail.

Eight of the accused are on bail including Khaleda’s nephew Saiful Islam Duke, former police chiefs Md Ashraful Huda, Shahidul Huq, and Khoda Baksh Chowdhury.

The first three investigation officers of the case — CID special superintendent Ruhul Amin, and two ex-CID ASPs Munshi Atiqur Rahman and Abdur Rashid — and former DCC ward commissioner Ariful Islam, too, are on bail.

The three investigation officers are accused of attempts to divert the investigation by showing a vagabond as Joj Mia.

The grenade attack took place at an Awami League rally at Bangabandhu Avenue during the tenure of the BNP-Jamaat-e-Islami coalition government.

Investigations showed the attack aimed at eliminating the Awami League chief Hasina who barely escaped.

Twenty-four people, including Ivy Rahman, were killed and over 500 others were injured. Former Dhaka mayor Mohammad Hanif and several others later died of their wounds.

CID’s assistant police superintendent Fazlul Kabir pressed charges against 22 people in June, 2008 — during the caretaker government — although the investigation made no progress during the BNP-Jamaat government.

After the Awami League came to power in 2009, investigator Akanda filed a supplementary charge-sheet accusing 30 more including Tarique, Babar and Mujaheed.

Those newly included in the charge-sheet were indicted and their trial started in 2011.

So far, the court has recorded the testimony of 19 witnesses.

Source: Bd news24