On August 21, 2004, the wretched episode of 21 August grenade attack was carried out. The whole country got outraged over such brutality. It provoked an outburst of anger among the people. The BNP-Jamaat alliance was then in power. Therefore, they somehow wanted to suppress the truth from the people and drive it in a different direction. Many BNP leaders tried to defend themselves in the parliament and in the field of politics. Handful enthusiasts in BNP even blamed victim Awami League for this incident. But, behind the scene, a large section of BNP leaders accused Tarique Zia and his associates of this atrocious crime. Many of them are still in BNP and some have detached themselves from the politics of BNP. Subsequently, their suspicion on the 21 August grenade attack will be accepted as valid soon.
Sadeque Hossain Khoka criticized Tarique Zia first after the incident. At that time, he was the mayor of Dhaka City Corporation and in charge of the Ministry of Fisheries and Animal Resources. On August 22, he went to party office at Naya Paltan and criticized Tarique Zia in front of the reporters. On August 27, at the meeting of the standing committee, Khoka advised Khaleda Zia to keep Tarique away from politics. The then Information Minister Tariqul Islam said, ‘BNP will pay the highest price for August 21.’ Another BNP leader Mohammad Mosaddak Ali urged Khaleda to send Tarique abroad for some days. He also advised removing Falu from his ministerial role. Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary of that time Dr. Kamal Siddiqui found evidence of Tarique Zia’s involvement with the incident after investigating the matter. He informed the then prime minister about this. But, the prime minister ordered to tear off the report.
The then BNP secretary general acknowledged the possibility of Tarique Zia’s involvement in the 21 August grenade attack case during an interview with The Daily Ittefaq. Late Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan said, ‘Proper investigation was not possible in that case because of Tarique Zia.’ With the interview with BBC, he said that it was BNP’s great failure for being unable to give justice to the case.
Within a few days of the grenade attack incident, almost all the leaders of BNP knew that Tarique was involved with the incident. Everyone silently expressed their anger, but none could open their mouth.
Today, those in BNP are giving statements on this issue, know the truth.