Dhaka: A speedy trial tribunal on Wednesday sentenced 19 people to death and 17 others, including BNP acting Chairman Tarique Rahman, to lifetime imprisonment in two cases filed over the August 21 grenade attack on an Awami League rally in the capital on 21 August 2004.
Dhaka Speedy Trial Tribunal-1 Justice Shahed Nuruddin pronounced the verdict around 12:13 pm Wednesday.
Former State Minister for Home Lutfozzaman Babar and former Deputy Minister for Education Abdus Salam Pintu were among the death penalty awarded .
On September 18, the tribunal fixed October 10 to pronounce its verdict in two cases-- one for murder and the other for grenade blast-- after both the prosecution and the defence completed their arguments.
On August 21, 2004, the grisly grenade attack was carried out on an anti-terrorism rally arranged by Awami League at Bangabandhu Avenue during the BNP-Jamaat alliance's rule, aiming to kill the then opposition leader Sheikh Hasina.
At least 24 leaders and activists, including AL's women affairs secretary and late President Zillur Rahman's wife Ivy Rahman, were killed and 300 others injured in the attack.
Sheikh Hasina fortunately escaped the attack with her hearing affected badly.
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