Vol. 5 Num 102 Sat. September 04, 2004  
Front Page

Grenade Attack
Nizami hints at anti-Islam plot

Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer and Industries Minister Motiur Rahman Nizami yesterday said the August 21 grenade attack on an Awami League rally was part of a 'sinister conspiracy' against Islam and the sovereignty and democracy of Bangladesh.

The 'well-known enemies of Islam' are manipulating some organisations to carry out the subversive acts to damage Islam's image and the rising Islamic movement, he told a crowded press conference at the ruling coalition partner's Moghbazar headquarters.

Nizami said, "People of Bangladesh can't help being worried at the way some Indian newspapers -- The Statesman, The Hindustan Times, The Hindu -- made open instigation, directly accusing Prime Minister Khaleda Zia and Jamaat-e-Islami [for the attack]. The Statesman even called for [Indian government's] direct interference in Bangladesh. The situation therefore is undoubtedly very grave."

He once again claimed there is no Islamic fundamentalist group operating in the country and blamed a section of the media for running deliberate campaign to brand Bangladesh as a den of fundamentalist forces.

Observing that it has become a fashion to blame militant Islamists for every incident, he said, "We don't believe any Islamist organisation is involved in the attack. But if the investigation finds any of them guilty, we'll definitely act against them."

Referring to 'accusing the government of the grenade attack before any investigation and declaration of one-point movement by opposition parties to unseat it, creating anarchy and panic through rampage, arson and snapping rail-links, baseless allegation and malicious propaganda in Indian newspapers against the coalition government', Nizami said all that indicate a ominous conspiracy against Bangladesh.

The Jamaat chief said those who committed the crime are not friends of BNP, AL, Jamaat or any one who believes in democracy. "They are enemies of the nation, humanity and Islam," he maintained, adding the national security is now at stake.

Asked if his party welcomes the FBI probe into the Bangabandhu Avenue massacre, Nizami said, as partner in the government, Jamaat has agreed to foreign experts' co-operation in unmasking the criminals.

The influential minister admitted that no government so far has succeeded detecting the perpetrators of the bomb and grenade blasts, adding the attackers in every case managed to escape while the country's main political parties traded accusations and counter-accusations.

Replying to a question, he claimed the overall law and order seems to be improving, except some terrorist acts by outlawed Janajuddha and Sarbahara operatives aimed at discrediting the government.

Jamaat nayeb-e-ameers Abul Kalam Mohammad Yousuf and Makbul Hossain, Secretary General and Social Welfare Minister Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid, assistant secretaries general Mohammad Kamaruzzaman and Abdul Kader Mollah, and Publicity Secretary Prof Tanjib Alam were also present at the conference.