General

Hasina’s convoy attack verdict reflects govt desire, says BNP

BNP on Thursday alleged that the government’s desire has been reflected in the lower court’s verdict in a case filed over the attack on Sheikh Hasina’s convoy in Satkhira in 2002.

“Awami League has indulged in a game of taking revenge on its opponents using this false case as an additional attorney general and three deputy attorney generals were sent to Satkhira from Dhaka to turn the case in favour of them which is unprecedented,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.

Speaking at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, he said the four officials stayed in Satkhira for a long time to ensure the punishment as per the wish of the government and the Prime Minister.

“The PP and APPS deal with the cases at the district level. The presence of an additional and three deputy attorney generals in Satkhira has manifested that they went there to fulfill Sheikh Hasina’s wishes and it has been done.”

Earlier in the day, a Satkhira court sentenced former BNP MP Habibul Islam Habib and two others to 10 years’ imprisonment on a charge of attacking Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina’s convoy in Kolaroa in 2002.

The court also sentenced 47 others to different jail terms in the case.

Additional Attorney General SM Munur, who was present on behalf of the state, expressed satisfaction over the verdict.

Advocate Abdul Majid, a defence lawyer, said they will file an appeal petition against the verdict.

On August 30, 2002, Prime Minister Hasina, the then opposition chief was returning to Magura after visiting a freedom fighter’s wife in Satkhira when her convoy came under attack in Kalaroa upazila of the district.

Hasina survived the attack relatively unscathed but many Awami League leaders and workers were injured along with some journalists.

Rizvi alleged that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina punished BNP leaders, including Habibul Islam Habib, using the court to avoid various speculations about the current situation in the country. “Personal revenge was taken through this punishment in a well-planned way.”

He, on behalf of BNP, demanded the release of Habib and other party leaders and activists immediately withdrawing the ‘false’ case.

Rizvi said their party joint secretary general Lion Aslam Chowdhury has been staying in jail for five long years in politically ‘motivated’ cases.

He said Aslam was shown arrested in another ‘false’ case on Wednesday when he was coming out of jail after getting bail in more than 100 cases. “It’s a culture of the current government.”

Rizvi said the BNP leaders and activists will remain in jail for as long as Sheikh Hasina wants. “The Prime Minister herself is now the supreme judge of all the courts.”

He urged the government to withdraw the ‘false’ cases against Aslam and free him from jail.