2004 grenade attack: 2 ex-ministers get death, Khaleda’s son jailed for life

Dhaka, Oct 10 (IANS) A Bangladesh court on Wednesday sentenced 19 people, including two former ministers, to death and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s son Tarique Rahman to life imprisonment for their role in the 2004 grenade blasts that killed 24 people and injured 500.

The verdict was delivered amid tight security in the capital and can be appealed within two months.

The 2004 attack targeted Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s rally, who was the opposition leader at the time. A series of grenades exploded as she was stepping off a truck, which was used as a dais for the rally on Bangabandhu Avenue.

She survived with a partial hearing loss.

Former State Minister for Home Lutfozzaman Babar and former Deputy Minister for Education Abdus Salam Pintu were among 19 people sentenced to death on Wednesday, bdnews24.com reported.

Khaleda Zia’s son Tarique Rahman, the acting chairman of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, and her former political secretary Harris Chowdhury were among 19 sentenced to life imprisonment.

The sentence also included jail terms for 11 other people.

Law Minister Anisul Huq said the government will seek scaled-up punishments for Rahman and Chowdhury. He said that Khaleda’s son masterminded the attack and that he deserved the death penalty.

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