Home  -  Back Issues  -  The Team  -  Contact Us
     Volume 4 Issue 11 | September 3, 2004 |

   Cover Story
   News Notes
   Slice of Life
   Life Style
   Photo Feature
   Straight Talk
   Time Out
   Book Review
   Write to Mita
   Dhaka Diary
   New Flicks

   SWM Home


'I' for Ivy


The Incident
A wave of grenade attacks on opposition chief Sheikh Hasina's rally on Bangabandhu Avenue yesterday left at least 16 people killed and 200 including top Awami League (AL) leaders... critically injured. Hasina, who was the apparent target of the attacks carried out from buildings in front of the AL headquarters, escaped unscathed as activists formed a human shield to protect their leader aboard a truck. One of her personal security staff, Mahbub Alam, 42, who stood close by her, died. The unknown assailants fired seven bullets at the bulletproof sports utility vehicle (SUV) that Hasina boarded immediately after the blasts. The deadly attacks started at 5:23pm... "It was not more than three seconds after Hasina finished her speech when a grenade blasted two yards from the dais and what followed was a 'grenade rain'," said Sub-Inspector Mosharraf Hossain, head of a six-member security team of Hasina. "I saw seven to eight people throwing grenades from the roof of the building opposite the AL office. The grenades were red in colour," he told The Daily Star. (DS 22/8)

The Inaction
During the attacks, armed police ran away for cover and did not take part in the rescue drive. Confusion and panic ruled supreme as nobody knew which building the grenades would pour down from. Intelligence agents last night said they were probing the unusually poor deployment of police at the rally and the absence of the force on nearby building rooftops in a remarkable deviation form the usual practice. (DS 22/8)

International Concern
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday expressed grave concern over the attack... (DS 22/8) Turkish Prime Minister Nek Metin Erbaken, Congress of India Chair Sonia Gandhi, Leader of Opposition in Lok Shabha of India L K Advani and US Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca yesterday phoned Awami League President Sheikh Hasina expressing concern over Saturday's grenade and gun attacks... (DS 23/8) Head of Delegation of the European Commission in Bangladesh Ambassador Esko Kentrschynskyj yesterday strongly condemned the grenade attack... (DS 23/8) US President George W Bush has expressed deep shock at Saturday's grenade attacks... Britain, India, Pakistan and the United States yesterday offered to help Dhaka in its probe into a series of grenade attacks... (DS 24/8) UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has strongly condemned the use of violence against the civilian population and called for the perpetrators... (25/8)

The Investigation
Five days into the deadly grenade attack on an Awami League rally on Saturday, investigators are still trying to find out how the assailants threw the grenades and carried out the subsequent gun attack. (DS 25/8) The Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the only agency in police department to deal with bomb blast incidents, has little capability to deal with post-blast situation and carry out investigation... (DS 27/8)

The Interlink
Police retrieved two more grenades from the capital yesterday, one of them from a toilet of Gulistan Hawkers' Market near the very site of Saturday's explosions. The other one was found in a drain of Dhaka Central Jail in the morning and the shocking discovery has baffled detectives involved with investigations into other bomb blasts in the country. They even asked The Daily Star correspondent to tell them who are behind the deadly blasts and with what motive, if he stumbles onto behind-the-scene facts. (DS 23/8)

The Insensible
Police yesterday did not register a case in connection with Saturday's grenade attack on the Awami League (AL) rally in Dhaka. (DS 23/8)

The Interment
Quick burial of two unidentified bodies from Saturday's Awami League (AL) rally bombing drew fire from anxious relatives of the missing and raised questions about the otherwise sluggish authorities' 'usual promptness'. After autopsy, Sub-Inspector of Motijheel Police Station Sharif Faruk Ahmed handed over the twin bodies to Anjuman Mofidul Islam and the charity buried them at Azimpur graveyard on Sunday night, 30 hours after the blasts. Unknown bodies are usually kept at the morgue for at least 48 hours after autopsy before handing over to the charity for burial. (DS 24/8)

The Executive Producer (News) of Bangladesh Television (BTV), Kazi Mostaq Zahir has been withdrawn from the news room for negligence to his duty during the news telecast at 8 pm on Saturday. (DS 23/8) Director General of Bangladesh Betar Zafar Ahmed Chowdhury has been transferred to Bangladesh Television (BTV) as its Director General (DG), while BTV Director General Mostafizur Rahman was made Officer on Special Duty (OSD) at the Ministry of Establishment, official sources told the news agency. (DS 26/8)

The intimidation
Hikmatul Zihad, a previously unheard-of organisation, has claimed responsibility for Saturday's grenade attack on Awami League (AL) rally and vowed to assassinate Leader of the Opposition and AL President Sheikh Hasina in a week. "We are coming and this time we will (accomplish) our target within 7 days. It's a promise, "one Hyder Rob, representing the organisation, said in a message emailed to Bangla daily the Prothom Alo Monday night. (DS 25/8)

The Internet
Intelligence agents have picked up a man suspecting that he sent an email from a cyber cafe to a leading newspaper threatening to kill Awami League Chief Sheikh Hasina in a week, sources said. (DS 27/8)

The Image
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia held a brainstorming session with seven former foreign secretaries yesterday for reviving Bangladesh's image abroad and taking steps on the world stage in the wake of Awami League (AL) rally bombing on August 21. "The prime minister asked them to harness all their experience in this field to overcome the damage to Bangladesh's image abroad," Foreign Minister M Morshed Khan told reporters at his office yesterday. (DS 29/8)

The Interpol
Two Interpol experts arrived in Dhaka yesterday to assess the August 21 carnage and determine expertise vital to a thorough investigation into the grisly attack... The team of Jeffry Eyles, an expert on public safety and terrorism affairs, and Jacqueline Pullums, a US analyst of civilian terrorism, collected primary information from the police and intelligence officials probing the incident. (DS 30/8)

The Irony
Interpol investigator Jeffry Eyles lost his luggage on arrival at ZIA. He left the airport without his luggage. (Janakantha 30/8)

The Incentive
The government has announced a reward of Tk 1 crore to anyone disclosing information about the August 21 grenade attacks on an Awami League rally on Bangabandhu Avenue. "We want to reveal truth, which is why we announced the reward," State Minister for Home Affairs Lutfozzaman Babar yesterday told reporters after a home ministry meeting on law and order. (DS 30/8)

The Inquiry
The government yesterday formed a one-member enquiry commission into the grenade attacks... The commission, comprised of a senior justice of the High Court Division of Bangladesh Supreme Court Justice Md Joynul Abedin, will submit its report within three weeks. (DS 23/8) Seven days later: A one-member judicial commission formed by the government opened its probe into the attack yesterday and... visited the spot and talked to Awami League leaders. (DS 30/8)

The Ignored
Several low-profile people who were injured in the blast lay in city hospitals or at home, some physically maimed for life.

Ivy Rahman
(Awami League leader) Ivy, who lost both legs as at least 13 grenades exploded one after another, was in a critical condition at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH). Doctors amputated her legs. (DS 22/8) Critically injured Awami League (AL) leader Ivy Rahman clung to her life yesterday despite flying rumours in Dhaka that the women's affairs secretary of the main opposition party was clinically dead. (DS 23/8) The liver and kidneys of critically injured Awami League (AL) leader Ivy Rahman have stopped functioning, her family members and the Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) told The Daily Star last night. (DS 24/8) Veteran Awami League leader Ivy Rahman died early yesterday after fighting for her life for three days since she was grievously injured in Saturday's grenade attack on the AL rally. (DS 25/8)

The Inevitable...

Copyright (R) thedailystar.net 2004