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B'desh beefs up security ahead of Aug 21 grenade attack judgment

Press Trust of India  |  Dhaka 

today beefed up security across the country ahead of a special court ruling on Wednesday in a decade old grenade attack case in which Khaleda Zia's fugitive son and her presumed political heir is the prime accused.

"Anarchy in any form will not be allowed...and intelligence agencies have been asked to enforce a strict vigil," told 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 police 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 rally at the Bangabandhu Avenue in killed 24 people and injured nearly 500 others including Sheikh

Investigators said was the main target of the attack. was injured in the attack while party's and former Zillur Rahman's wife 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 (HuJI).

Rahman was tried in absentia with the court declaring him a "fugitive". He now lives in 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 are on the run, eight including three ex-IGPs are on bail and the rests including the then junior is in jail.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, October 09 2018. 20:15 IST