Dhaka, Oct 10 (UNB) - Law Minister Anisul Huq on Wednesday said BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman should have been awarded death penalty as he is the mastermind of August 21 grenade attack incident.
“We’re happy with the verdicts, but the mastermind of the incident was Tarique Rahman…he should’ve been awarded death sentence,” he said.
The minister came up with the remarks while talking to reporters at the secretariat after the pronouncement of verdicts in the two cases.
He, however, said the government will decide whether it will file any petition with the High Court seeking death sentence for Tarique Rahman, Harris Chowdhury and Kazi Shah Mofazzal Hossain Kaikobad once the full text of the verdict is available.
Anisul said he came to know that 49 people, out of 52 accused, were sentenced to different jail terms, while 19 death sentence and 19 life-term imprisonment.
“We’ll try to bring back all those convicted in the cases but staying abroad as we’re also trying to bring back the convicts of Bangabandhu murder case,” Anisul added.
Earlier in the morning, a speedy trial tribunal sentenced 19 people, including former State Minister for Home Lutfozzaman Babar and former Deputy Minister for Education Abdus Salam Pintu, to death while 19 others, including BNP acting Chairman Tarique Rahman, to life-term imprisonment in two cases filed over the August 21 grenade attack on an Awami League rally in the capital in 2004.
Dhaka, Oct 10 (UNB) - BNP on Wednesday announced a two-day countrywide programme, including demonstrations and black-flag processions, protesting the verdict in the August 21 grenade attack cases that convicted a number of party leaders, including Tarique Rahman.
Besides, party’s different associate bodies will stage demonstrations and form human chains for five days in the next week.
BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi announced the programmes at BNP's Nayapaltan central office.
As part of the programmes, BNP will demonstrate in all cities and district towns on Thursday.
The party will also take out black-flag processions in all cities and district towns on Tuesday.
Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal and Jatiyatabadi Swechchhasebak Dal will stage demonstrations on Saturday, Sunday and Monday respectively.
Besides, Jatiyatabadi Mohila Dal and Jatiyatabadi Sramik Dal will from human chains across the country on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.
Earlier in the day, a speedy trial tribunal sentenced 19 people, including State Minister for Home Lutfozzaman Babar and former Deputy Minister for Education Abdus Salam Pintu, to death while 19 others, including BNP acting Chairman Tarique Rahman, to life imprisonment in two cases filed over the August 21 grenade attack on an Awami League rally in the capital in 2004.
Dhaka, Oct 10 (UNB) – BNP on Wednesday turned down the verdicts in the August 21 grenade attack cases, saying it has been given at the ‘behest of the government’ with a political motive.
“BNP thinks that the verdict is a politically motivated one. It’s a naked manifestation of satisfying the government’s political vengeance,” said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
Speaking at a press conference at BNP's Nayapaltan central office, he further said, “We reject the dictated verdict.”
Fakhrul also said the government has set another bad example of taking political revenge using the court as they did it by convicting BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in a ‘false’ case in the past.
He alleged that though their party Senior Vice-chairman Tarique Rahman had no involvement in the grenade attack incident, he was given life imprisonment in the cases. “It has proved that no citizen of the country has now the scope of getting justice.”
Under the circumstances, Fakhrul called on the country’s people to become alert about the government’s ‘vindictive attitude and its foul strategy of using court’. “We also urge people to get united to wage a movement to establish a pro-people government by ousting the current unelected one.”
He said they will carry out different political programmes against the verdict alongside taking legal measures.
BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed said the prosecution could not present any straightforward document and witness before the court to prove Tarique Rahman’s involvement in the incident. “Despite this, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for making political gains.”
BNP standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Mirza Abbas, Nazrul Islam Khan, Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury and party senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi were, among others, present.
Earlier in the morning, after a long wait for over 14 years, a speedy trial tribunal sentenced 19 people to death and 19 others, including BNP acting Chairman Tarique Rahman to life imprisonment, in two cases filed over the August 21 grenade attack on an Awami League rally in the capital in 2004.
Sao Paulo, Oct 10 (AP/UNB) — Charges of fake news are heating up the presidential race ahead of Brazil's Oct. 28 runoff, with the center-left candidate on Tuesday accusing his rival's campaign of defaming him with false stories on social media and messaging apps.
A fact-checking group said that Fernando Haddad has been targeted by a wave of false allegations, some accusing him of planning to shut down churches and distribute textbooks teaching children to be gay.
Haddad blamed his adversary, far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro, for planting or failing to condemn the falsehoods.
"The lies come from him (Bolsonaro), so he will not accept any ethical commitment. He will continue to slander, insult," Haddad said. He said his campaign had managed to have 33 videos removed from social media sites. "One had 3 million views when it was removed. We try to stop it, but people watch them."
Haddad on Monday asked Bolsonaro to jointly sign a commitment against spreading fake news before the runoff, but Bolsonaro rejected the idea, calling Haddad "a scoundrel" in a Twitter post.
Haddad said Tuesday the refusal was "a proof of dishonesty."
Bolsonaro, a former army captain, won Sunday's first round of voting with 46 percent. Former Sao Paulo Mayor Haddad, who was hand-picked by jailed former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to represent the Workers' Party, came second with 29 percent.
Bolsonaro's campaign had very little time on TV, so it focused its efforts on social media and messaging apps like WhatsApp, whose users exchange information directly in an encrypted format, unlike more public platforms.
In Brazil more than 120 million people use WhatsApp, making Latin America's largest country home to nearly one in 10 users worldwide.
A fact-check project by TV Globo found a recent false allegation that Haddad's running mate Manuela D'Avila wants to end Christian holidays in Brazil. Another shows what appears to be a fraudulent result in a voting machine giving a large advantage to the Workers' Party candidate. A third falsely claims U.S. President Donald Trump endorsed Bolsonaro.
The Associated Press follows five WhatsApp groups of Bolsonaro supporters. There is very little debate, but constant sharing of memes, news stories, videos and audios that are sometimes true but very often manipulated.
Later in an interview with TV Band, Bolsonaro said he wants to fight false news against him in Brazil's northeast, without giving further details.
Bolsonaro said he regretted the killing of a Haddad voter in Salvador by one of his supporters but he called it "an isolated incident." He said he does not approve of violence against adversaries, but has no means to control what his voters do.
"I was the one who got stabbed. If someone wears a shirt of mine and is excessive, what do I have to do with it?" Bolsonaro asked. The far-right candidate was attacked on Sept.6, went through two abdominal surgeries and only left the hospital one week before the first-round vote.
Dhaka, Oct 9 (UNB) – BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi on Wednesday hinted that their party may announce action programmes reviewing the verdict in August-21 grenade attack cases to be delivered on Wednesday.
“We’ll give our reaction after observing tomorrow’s (Wednesday’s) verdict. But whatever we do, it’ll be peaceful,” he said.
Speaking at a press conference at the party’s Nayapaltan central office, the BNP leader also said they will not announce any programme which makes people suffer.
He also called upon BNP leaders and activists to get ready to observe any type of programme to be announced by the party.
Rizvi urged their party leaders and activists to remain alert as the government may try to shift the blame onto them by carrying out ‘subversive acts as it did in the past’.
“I call upon our leaders and activists not be misguided by any act of provocation by the government, and make the party’s to be announced programme a success staying alert,” he added.
The BNP leader feared that a ‘farcical’ verdict at the behest of the government can be given in the August-21 cases as the current regime has been making various efforts to implement its blueprint.
He alleged that people are getting deprived of justice due to the government’s political ‘pressure and influence’ on the lower courts.
The Speedy Trial Tribunal-1 is set to deliver its verdict on Wednesday morning in two cases filed over the August 21 grenade attack on an Awami League rally in the capital in 2004.
BNP acting Chairman Tarique Rahman, two former ministers Abdus Salam Pintu and Lutfuzzaman Babar and former top police and intelligence officials of the then BNP-led four-party alliance government are among 49 accused in the cases.