'Past regime protected 2004 attackers who targeted Sheikh Hasina'
"I was asked not to catch (arrest) them (culprits)," former Director General of Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) Maj Gen (retd) Sadik Hassan Rumi told a court here as the belated trial of several high-profile suspects of the attack were underway.
"There was no dearth of efforts on my part to unearth the plot (of the attack) but I was repeatedly obstructed," he said.
The assailants had hurled 13 'arges' grenades at an Awami League rally in downtown Dhaka on August 21, 2004 but Hasina narrowly escaped the attack with permanent hearing impairment while 24 people, including incumbent President Zillur Rahman's wife Ivy Rahman, were killed and some 500 injured.
Rumi reaffirmed his earlier deposition as a prosecution witness, saying the then ruling BNP's senior vice president and ex-premier Khaleda Zia's now "fugitive" elder son Tarique Rahman, ex-home minister for home Lutfuzzaman Babar and leaders of the militant outfit HuJI Mufty Abdul Hannan and Maulana Tajuddin were involved the attack plot.
The comments of Rumi, who was the chief of the spy agency during the 2001-2006 BNP-led four-party regime, came as the defence counsels at the Speedy Trial Tribunal of Judge Shahed Nuruddin cross-examined him on his November 5 deposition.
He vehemently rejected a defence proposition that he gave his statement to evade wraths of the
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