By Anisur Rahman
Dhaka, Oct 9 (PTI) Bangladesh today beefed up security across the country ahead of a special court ruling on Wednesday in a decade old grenade attack case in which opposition BNP chief Khaleda Zia's fugitive son and her presumed political heir Tarique Rahman is the prime accused.
"Anarchy in any form will not be allowed...law enforcement and intelligence agencies have been asked to enforce a strict vigil," Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan told PTI ahead of the ruling.
He, however, said that the authorities feared no specific security threat as "the verdict expected to be delivered against some identified criminals tomorrow" for the attack that killed 24 people and injured nearly 500 others.
A Dhaka police spokesman said some 4,000 security personnel have been deployed in the national capital to maintain law and order.
On August 21, 2004, a series of grenade explosions during an Awami League rally at the Bangabandhu Avenue in Dhaka killed 24 people and injured nearly 500 others including party chief Sheikh Hasina.
Investigators said Hasina was the main target of the attack. Hasina was injured in the attack while party's women front chief and former president Zillur Rahman's wife Ivy Rahman were among the dead.
Subsequent investigations found an influential quarter of the then BNP-led government, including Rahman, masterminded and sponsored the attackers -- the operatives of militant Harkatul Jihad al Islami (HuJI).
Rahman was tried in absentia with the court declaring him a "fugitive". He now lives in London where he is believed to have sought asylum though the British authorities have declined to reveal his immigration status.
Other accused included two former ministers of the past BNP-led four party alliance government, several Islamist militants and senior intelligence and police officers, many of them are absconders.
The court wrapped up the hearing on September 18 setting the date for the verdict after a protracted investigation and trial process.
Zia, who is now serving a five-year imprisonment in a graft case, was not made an accused in the case.
Officials said out of 52 accused, 19 including Rahman and Zia's the then political assistant Haris Chowdhury are on the run, eight including three ex-IGPs are on bail and the rests including the then junior home minister Lutfuzzaman Babar is in jail. PTI AR ZH ZH
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI