THREE former police chiefs were sent to jail on their surrender before a Dhaka court on Monday, a day after arrest warrants were issued against them in the August 21 grenade attack case.
Ashraful Huda, Khoda Baksh Chowdhury and Shahudul Haque served as inspectors general of police (IGPs) during the tenure of the BNP-led four-party coalition government.
Surrendering before the Court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Dhaka Monday morning, the three sought bail in a case filed in connection with the killing of 24 people in the grisly grenade attack, our correspondent covering the development reported from the spot.
Metropolitan Magistrate Keshob Roy Chowdhury heard their petition after 11:00am. After hearing both the sides, the court rejected the bail prayer and ordered to send the former three police chiefs to jail.
The court also directed the jail authorities to take necessary steps to provide them with divisions as per the jail code.
The jail authorities have also been asked to arrange proper treatment for them, if necessary.
The three, along with 27 others, were also accused in the other case filed under explosive substances act. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police submitted the supplementary charge-sheets on Sunday.
Awami League president Sheikh Hasina narrowly escaped when a barrage of grenade blasts at an AL anti-terror rally at Bangabandhu Avenue on August 21 killed 24 including party leader Ivy Rahman and wounded about 500 others.
The investigators, during the BNP-Jamaat four-party coalition regime, the then CID investigators tried to mislead the probe to save the real culprits and falsely implicated one Joj Miah of Noakhali.
In 2008, the CID submitted charge sheets against 22 people including former BNP deputy minister Abdus Salam Pintu and 21 Harkatul Jihad men including militant kingpin Mufti Hannan.
On March 29, 2009, CID ASP Fazlul Kabir filed a case against three former CID investigators — SSP Ruhul Amin and ASPs Munshi Atiqur Rahman and Abdur Rashid–for attempt to mislead the investigation.
Later on August 3 the same year, a Dhaka court ordered the CID investigators to further investigate the grenade attack, as the earlier investigation had failed to reveal the sources of the grenades and identify the masterminds behind the attack.
After 14 time extensions, the CID submitted the supplementary charge sheet accusing 30 new persons to be involved with the grisly attack on Sunday, the last day of submitting the charge sheet.
Tarique Rahman, Lutfozzaman Babar, Harris Chowdhury and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed are among the 30 more people charge-sheeted on Sunday in the two cases filed in connection with the August 21 grenade attack.
Hawa Bhaban, former political office of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, different militant organisations and the then administration had collaborated in planning and staging the grisly blasts at an Awami League rally in the capital in 2004, Metropolitan Public Prosecutor Abdullah Abu said quoting the charges.
Of the 30 named in the supplementary charge sheets, 11 including former state minister for home Babar, Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General and former social welfare minister Mojaheed, and former directors general of National Security Intelligence Major Gen (retd) Rezzaqul Haider Chowdhury and Brig Gen (retd) Abdur Rahim are behind bars. One is out on bail while the rest 18 including Tarique, Harris, BNP lawmaker Kazi Shah Mofazzal Hossain Kaikobad and former DG of Directorate General of Forces Intelligence Major Gen (retd) ATM Amin have yet to be detained.
In response to a plea from the CID, a metropolitan magistrate’s court issued arrest warrants against the 18 Sunday afternoon.