By Sena Guler
ANKARA (AA) – A Bangladesh court on Wednesday sentenced 19 people, including a former Cabinet member, to death for a grenade attack on a rally led by then-opposition leader Sheikh Hasina in 2004, local media reported Wednesday.
In August 2004, 24 members of the ruling Awami League — which was the main opposition at that time — were killed and over 300 others injured during the attack on the rally outside the party’s headquarters in Dhaka, according to the Daily Star.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who was then the main opposition leader in the parliament, survived the attack with an ear injury.
Former state minister Lutfozzaman Babar is among the 19 people who were given the death penalty.
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) acting chairman Tarique Rahman — who is currently living in London — along with 19 others, most of them are BNP members, were also awarded life term imprisonment.
Rahman is the son of BNP chairperson and two-time prime minister, Khaleda Zia, who has been serving a prison term for corruption-related charges since February 2018.
Eleven other convicts were given sentences ranging from six months to 12 years behind bars.
Prior to the final hearing on Wednesday in the capital Dhaka, police took tight security measures in front of the court hall and nearby streets.