Iqbal Hossain, a former member of BNP's student front Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, threw a grenade targeting the stage, the Rapid Action Battalion said following the arrest of the fugitive sentenced to life in prison in connection with the gruesome 2004 grenade attack on an Awami League rally, reports bdnews24.com.
Iqbal alias 'Jahangir' alias 'Selim' was taken into custody after a raid in the Diabari area of the capital around 3 am on Tuesday, RAB's Director-General Chowdhury Abdullah Al Mamun said on Tuesday during a media briefing at the elite force's media centre in Karwan Bazar.
The RAB raided the area based on the information given by the National Security Intelligence.
"Iqbal was found on the street," Mamun said. “He had served as a representative of JCD on the student council at Govt KC College in Jhenaidah in 1994. He went to Malaysia after passing the HSC exams and lived there as a migrant worker from 1995 to 1998."
Iqbal launched a small business after returning to Bangladesh and later joined banned militant outfit Harkat-ul Jihad al-Islami Bangladesh or HuJI-B in 2001.
"He met Mufti Hannan and other top militant leaders of Bangladesh in 2003 and joined military-style training at that time. He came to Dhaka following Mufti Hannan's instructions in 2004,” Mamun said.
Iqbal admitted that he directly took part in the grenade attack on the Awami League rally on Aug 21 following the instructions given by Mufti Hannan who provided him with grenades to carry out the attack.
"He threw a bomb targeting the stage," the RAB's director general said.
Iqbal went into hiding in Jhenaidah after the attack and remained there under the guise of a rickshaw puller, a security guard and a labourer.
The elite force raided various places, including his own residence, in Jhenaidah in 2008, but failed to arrest him as he left the country for the second time.
He was identified as an illegal immigrant and sent back to the country at the end of 2020, RAB's Director-General Mamun said.
A Dhaka court had sentenced 19 people to death in 2018, including former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar and former deputy minister for education Abdus Salam Pintu, for their involvement in the grenade attack that left at least 24 people dead.
Another 19 people were handed life terms, including BNP chief Khaleda Zia’s former political secretary Harris Chowdhury and her son Tarique Rahman.
Eleven government officials accused in the case received different jail terms.