The nation is observing the 19th anniversary of the gruesome August 21 grenade attack on an Awami League rally in Dhaka with various programmes today and pledges to resist such acts of terror.

On this day in 2004, a heinous grenade attack was carried out on an anti-terrorism rally organised by the Awami League at Bangabandhu Avenue.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the then leader of the opposition, was apparently the target when the BNP-Jamaat alliance government was in office.

At least 24 people, including Awami League's women affairs secretary and late President Zillur Rahman's wife Ivy Rahman, were killed. Three hundred others were also injured. Sheikh Hasina survived but suffered hearing impairment.

Fourteen years later, a Dhaka court sentenced 19 people, including the then BNP government's state minister for home affairs Lutfozzaman Babar, to death in the grenade attack case.

Tarique Rahman, the eldest son of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia and the party's current acting chairman, and 18 others were sentenced to life in prison for their involvement in the grenade attack.

Marking the day, Awami League and its associate bodies have chalked out elaborate programmes across the country.

Tributes will be paid to the grenade attack martyrs by placing wreaths at the altar built in their memory in front of the party's Bangabandhu Avenue office in Dhaka at 11 am.

Later, a discussion will start at 11:15 am in memory of those killed in the August 21 grenade attack. Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will preside over it.

Meanwhile, General Secretary of Awami League Obaidul Quader called upon the leaders, activists, supporters and well-wishers of Awami League and its allies at all levels to observe the Grenade Attack Day on August 21 along with the countrymen.

Among those killed in the grenade attack were: the then opposition leader's personal security guard Lance Corporal (retd) Mahbubur Rashid, Abul Kalam Azad, Rezina Begum, Nasir Uddin Sardar, Atique Sarkar, Abdul Kuddus Patwari, Aminul Islam Moazzem, Belal Hossain, Mamun Mridha, Ratan Shikdar, Liton Munshi, Hasina Mamtaz Reena, Sufia Begum, Rafiqul Islam (Ada Chacha), Mostaque Ahmed Sentu, Md Hanif, Abul Kashem, Zahed Ali, Momen Ali, M Shamsuddin and Ishaque Miah.

Those who suffered serious splinter injuries included Sheikh Hasina, Amir Hossain Amu, Abdur Razzak, Suranjit Sengupta, Obaidul Quader, Advocate Sahara Khatun, Mohammad Hanif, Prof Abu Sayeed, and AFM Bahauddin Nasim.

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