Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said her party leaders and activists saved her life every time attempts were made to harm her.
“I faced death threats repeatedly since my homecoming and the leaders and activists of Awami League (AL) saved my life every time, becoming shields. Not just one time - they sacrificed their lives many times,” said the premier, also the president of the party.
She said this while addressing a rally organised to mark the gruesome grenade attack on August 21 in 2004.
Sheikh Hasina said, "I knew my life was at risk always, yet I came back to fulfil the dream of Bangabandhu.”
The only strength behind her decision to come back was her trust on Allah and confidence on the countrymen and AL men, she said.
She said the attack was aimed at eliminating the entire AL leadership.
The anti-liberation forces killed Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to turn independent Bangladesh into a failed nation, she went on.
They wanted to prove that Bangabandhu made a mistake by bringing independence to the country, she said.
“They tried to deter my every movement and attacked me on August 21 in line with previous attempts,” said Sheikh Hasina.
“Our volunteers usually go to the rooftops of the buildings near our programme areas. They stay there until the programmes end. It is done as a precaution to stop these sorts of attacks,” she said.
That day, none of the volunteers were allowed to get to the rooftops of nearby buildings, she added.
“Police always created issues with us during our programmes. But that day, they surprisingly kept their distance from the programme,” she said.
After delivering her speech at the rally, she was preparing to get down from the temporary podium (truck).
But the photographers started telling her that they didn’t get a good photo. So, she stayed for a few more seconds and all of a sudden, grenades started to explode one after another, recalled the premier.
“All of the AL leaders tried their best to protect me from the splinter of the grenades. Hanif bhai (former mayor late Mohammad Hanif) stayed between me and the grenades. He used his body as a shield so that I don’t get hit by the splinters,” Sheikh Hasina said describing the moment of the attack.
“I saw countless splinters hit him and blood spill from his whole body,” she said.
It was impossible to carry out such an attack without the support of the government, she said, accusing the then BNP government.