Dhaka, Bangladesh
Politics takes new twist

Crosstalk on grenade case

Politics takes new twist

News Report Issues of the upcoming national elections are again overshadowed by a latest twist in politics as the two main rivals got down to squabbling over the political part of the grenade-attack case. After an instant rejection of the case verdict Wednesday, opposition BNP Thursday said implicating its leaders and their conviction are a manifestation of political motives to "completely eliminate BNP" and keep the party off politics and polls. Ruling Awami League leaders blasted their political archrival for its leaders' masterminding of the August 21st, 2004 grenade attack on an AL peace rally and also reprimanded the Dr Kamal Hossain-led national unity process for banding with the party of 'killers'. Acting BNP chief Tarique Rahman is among 19 persons jailed for life while former state minister Lutfozzaman Babar is among another 19 sentenced to death for the grenade-attack carnage. In Wednesday's verdict delivered by a special court, another 11 of the total 49 surviving accused were sentenced to different terms of imprisonment. The total number of accused was 52 under a supplementary charge sheet produced after reinvestigation into the twin-cases involving murders and use of explosives in the grenade attack that left 24 people dead and around 300 wounded. Three of the accused have already been executed in other cases. In an instant reaction, the BNP rejected the verdicts as the party termed the case proceedings implicating its leaders through supplementary charge sheet a manifestation of "political vendetta" of the ruling party. Amid such reciprocal vilification, AL general secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader Thursday launched two-pronged broadside against the BNP and the 'Jatiya Oikya Prokrika' or national unity process. He said country's people would never accept any national unity with the "killers" in the August 21, 2004 grenade attack.

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