Tarique Rahman, fugitive son of Zia and presumed political heir, was the prime accused in the decade old grenade attack case which had injured the present Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as well. (Reuters)
A special court in Dhaka Wednesday handed life sentence to the son of former prime minister and opposition leader Khaleda Zia in the 2004 Awami League rally attack that killed 24 people and injured 500 others, including the then opposition leader and current PM Sheikh Hasina,
Tarique Rahman, the fugitive son of Zia and presumed political heir, was the prime accused in the decade-old grenade attack case. While Hasina had sustained injuries, Bangladesh Awami League’s women front chief and former president Zillur Rahman’s wife Ivy Rahman was among the dead.
The court, which completed the hearing on Septemeber 18, had reserved the judgment for October 10.
Ahead of the verdict, the government took cautionary security measures throughout Dhaka and 4,000 security personnel were deployed in the national capital to maintain law and order, PTI reported.
As per the investigations, an influential quarter of the then BNP-led government, including Rahman, had pioneered and sponsored the attackers, the operatives of militant Harkatul Jihad al Islami (HuJI).
Rahman was declared a fugitive and was tried in absentia with the court. At present, Rahman resides in London and is believed to have sought asylum. His immigration status has not been revealed by the British authorities.
Other accused in the case included two former ministers of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-led four-party alliance government, several Islamist militants and senior intelligence and police officers, many of them are absconders.
The former prime minister has been serving a five-year imprisonment in a graft case and was not made an accused in the case.
(With PTI inputs)