Vol. 5 Num 87 Sun. August 22, 2004  
Front Page

Shock wave runs thru' nation's spine

The bomb blasts killing at least 16 and injuring hundreds in front of the Awami League's Bangabandhu Avenue office yesterday sent shock waves throughout the country generating instant, widespread outpours of grief, condemnations and protests.

Sporadic clashes erupted following the dastardly attack in the capital and all over the country, particularly in Chittagong, Sylhet, Rajshahi, Natore, Noakhali, Pabna, Manikganj and Cox's Bazar.

Some of the local Awami League (AL) units called hartal for today in spontaneous retaliation and protest.

Strike is called today in the coastal district of Cox's Bazar and the port city of Chittagong, where aggrieved AL supporters damaged dozens of vehicles yesterday.

Sylhet district and city units of AL called a daylong hartal in the district today to protest the grenade and bomb attacks on Opposition Leader and AL President Sheikh Hasina.

Sylhet City Corporation Mayor Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran, who is also the city AL chief, said early this morning the decision had been taken at an emergency joint meeting of the district and city AL units last night.

Earlier, the AL held a protest rally in Court Point Area and took out a procession in the northeastern divisional headquarters.

Pabna district AL also has called a dawn-to-dusk hartal today protesting the attack.

Leaders and activists of Manikganj district AL brought out a protest procession following the blast in the capital. A protest rally was also organised in front of Manikganj Press Club.

A large number of political and socio-cultural organisations issued statements right away denouncing the blasts and demanding proper investigation into it, as well as all such incidents, and exemplary punishment of the persons responsible.

BNP Secretary General and Minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan condemned the attack and expressed grave concerns over it.

President of Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh Prof AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury expressed concerns over the incident, and demanded a judicial probe and trial of the persons responsible.

Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) said such an attack would not be possible without backing from the high-ups in the government.

Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) President Noor-e-Alam Ziku and General Secretary (GS) Abdul Malek Ratan condemned the attack and accused the government for its failure to solve mysteries of previous bomb blasts, adding it has no valid excuse for avoiding the responsibility of yesterday's blast.

JSD President Hasanul Haque Inu and GS Syed Jafar Sazzad accused the Islamist militants acting under protection of the government for the attack and called for national united opposition to this fundamentalist menace.

JSD President ASM Abdur Rob in a statement said the latest incident of bomb blast reflects a severe lawlessness in the country.

Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (BSD) Convenor Khalequzzaman said at least 200 people were killed in 25 such incidents but there was not even a single investigation carried through. He called upon all concerned to build up a united movement to resist such subversive activities in the future.

Dhaka University Teachers' Association (DUTA) termed the blasts an attack on the life of Sheikh Hasina and aimed at eliminating the AL's progressive and noncommunal political practice.

Some 305 teachers of Dhaka University in a statement expressed concerns over the incident. The BNP- and Jamaat-led alliance government has to bear the responsibility and brunt of the planned attack, they said.

Jatiya Party Chairman Anwar Hossain Monju also condemned the attack.

Bangladesh Society for the Enforcement of Human Rights (BSEHR) in a statement termed the bomb blasts as 'totally inhuman and violation of law and human rights'.

Bam Ganotantrik Front, Bangladesh Liberal Party, Muktijoddha Oikya Parishad, Bangladesh Sanjukta Sramic Federation, Jatiya Shromik Jote-Bangladesh, Bangladesh Chhatra Union, Samajtantrik Chhatra Front, Bangladesh Jubo Moitri, Bangladesh Chhatra Fedaration, Sammilita Shamajik Andolon, Bangladesh Chhatra Moitri, Biborton Sangskritik Kendra, Shammilita Peshajibi Parishad, Bangladesh Ganotantrik Ainjibi Samity and Post Graduate Doctors' Association, among many others, issued similar statements demanding impartial investigation into the attack and exemplary punishment to the miscreants.