BNP leader Tarique Rahman had extended all-out supports to Mufti Abdul Hannan, former chief of banned militant outfit Harkat-ul Jihad al Islami (HuJI), and his accomplishes to carry out grenade attacks on Sheikh Hasina.
Mufti Hannan made the confession in 2011 in the case lodged over August 21, 2004, grenade attacks on an Awami League rally in the city's Bangabandhu Avenue, BSS reports.
"Me, Mawlana Abdus Salam, Mawlana Abdur Rauf, Mawlana Tajuddin and Kashmiri citizen Abdul Mazed Butt held a meeting in 2004 in Mohammadpur Satmasjid road area, where we made plan to kill Sheikh Hasina and other Awami League leaders. Tazuddin took the responsibility of collecting grenades and said his brother deputy minister Abdus Salam Pintu and the then state minister for Home Affairs Lutfuzzaman Babar would help us.We also decided to made contact with Tarique Rahman," Hannan said in his confessional statement given to then additional chief metropolitan magistrate AHM Habibur Rahman Bhuian.
"I am not being able to recall the exact date or time but the next day Muradnagar MP Kaikobad (Kazi Shah Mofazzal Hossain Kaikobad) took us to Hawa Bhaban, where he introduced us to Tarique Zia and Haris Chowdhury. As we sought their help for our operation, Tarique Zia assured us all kinds of help in this regard," he said.
"In August (cannot recall the date), 2004, we got to learn about Awami League rally in Muktangan, Dhaka in protest of Sylhet grenade attack. We decided to carry out attack on Sheikh Hasina and other Awami League leaders there. We again decided to meet Tarique Zia to implement our plan. Me, Mawlana Abu Tahel, Sheikh Farid, Mawlana Tazuddin, Mawlana Rashid went to Hawa Bhaban," Mufti said in the confessional statement.
The confessional statement also stated that there Mufti saw Haris Chowdhury, Lutfuzzaman Babar, Jamaat leader Mujahid, Brigadier Rezzakul Haider (then director general of Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI), Brigadier Abdur Rahim (then director general of National Security Intelligence (NSI). Tarique Zia came a bit later. They informed Tarique about their plan to attack Awami league leaders, including Sheikh Hasina, and sought their help. Then the BNP policymakers assured them all kinds of help from the administration.
During the meeting Tarique told them not to go to Hawa Bhaban anymore. He told Mufti and his accomplishes to maintain contact with Babar and Pintu and continue their activities regarding the attack, added the statement.
The HuJi leader said later he along with Ahsan Ullah Kazal and Mawlana Abu Taher went to Pintu's official residence on August 18. There they saw Pintu, Babar, Mawlana Tazuddin, Arif commissioner and Hanif Paribahan owner Mohammad Hanif. Pintu and Babar said to them that Arif and Hanif would provide them all the help they need and all kind of security would be given to them (HuJI activists).
"On August 20, Mufti Moin alias Abu Jandal and Ahsan Ullah Kazal collected 15 grenades and Taka 20,000 from Pintu's house and took those to our Badda house. On August 21, 2004, as part of our plan, we carried out grenade attacks in front of Awami League office (Bangabandhu Avenue)," said the statement quoting Hannan.
Mufti Hannan and his associate Shahidul Alam Bipul have already been executed for carrying out a grenade attack on the then British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury in Sylhet on May 21, 2004.
Their names have already been dropped from August 21 grenade attack case.