The prosecution on Monday sought the highest punishment of BNP senior vice-chairman Tarique Rahman and all other accused in two cases filed over August 21 grenade attack on the Awami League rally in the capital on August 21, 2004.
Advocate Syed Rezaur Rahman, chief prosecutor of the cases, placed the prayer before the court while he was wrapping up the prosecution argument in the cases.Judge Shahed Nuruddin of the Dhaka Speedy Trial Tribunal-1 set today for starting the defence argument on behalf of the 49 accused, including Tarique Rahman, in the cases.
The court earlier recorded testimonies of a total of 225 out of 511 prosecution witnesses on different dates in the sensational cases.
The makeshift court set up at a building near the gate of former Dhaka Central Jail on Nazimuddin Road in Old Dhaka is holding the trial in the cases — one for the murder and the other under the Explosive Substances Act — simultaneously.
According to the cases, 24 leaders and activists of the AL and its associate bodies were killed and over 300 others suffered splinter injuries in the August 21 attack. Among the dead was Ivy Rahman, then Mohila AL president and also the wife of late president Zillur Rahman.
Many of the injured became crippled for life. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, then opposition leader, narrowly escaped the attack with ear injuries.
Of the 52 charge-sheeted accused, eight accused including three former IGPs are on bail while 23 others, including former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar and Abdus Salam Pintu are behind bars.BNP senior vice-chairman Tarique Rahman and 17 other accused have been absconding in the cases.