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Khaleda Zia's son sentenced to life in 2004 grenade attack on Hasina

Press Trust of India  |  Dhaka 

Tarique Rahman, the fugitive son of former Khaleda Zia, was sentenced to life and 19 others were given death sentence by a court here on Wednesday over the 2004 grenade attack that killed 24 people and injured 500 others, including

The attack on an rally on August 21, 2004 targeted Hasina, who was the survived the attack with a

The verdict comes ahead of the election in December. Zia's Nationalist Party (BNP) had boycotted the 2014 election.

Security was tightened in the capital as the accused were brought to the court.

Rahman, 50, 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.

He leads the main opposition Nationalist Party (BNP) from exile after Zia was jailed in February for five years for corruption.

of Dhaka's fast track Tribunal pronounced the judgment ordering Rahman to be sent to prison for life along with 18 others.

Former for home Lutfozzaman Babar is among 19 people who were sentenced to death.

Rahman, two former ministers including Babar and former top police and intelligence officials of the then BNP-led four-party alliance were among 49 accused in the cases.

The made 12-point observations on the background, motive and consequences of the attack.

Investigations found an influential quarter of the then BNP-led government, including Rahman, masterminded and sponsored the attackers -- the operatives of militant Harkatul (HuJI).

Investigators said was the main target of the attack. Hasina was injured in the attack while party's and former Zillur Rahman's wife were among the dead.

Thirty one of the 49 convicts were present in the court on Wednesday while others were sentenced in absentia.

"We are taking steps to bring back the fugitive convicts," told reporters as the verdict was announced.

Those who were sentenced to death were fined Taka one lakh each. The must confirm their death penalty after a mandatory review.

Other political figures, who were given life sentence, are ex-Zia's the then and former BNP lawmaker

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

First Published: Wed, October 10 2018. 14:10 IST