Police suspect that a suicide squad was carrying the bombs, which
exploded at around 0800 hours within 25 yards of the podium, when the
cultural programme was underway and state-owned television was
broadcasting the programme live from Ramna Batamul, the traditional
spot of the celebration.
Home Minister Mohammad Nasim told UNI over the telephone that
anti-liberation and fundamentalist elements were responsible for the ''heinous'' bomb attack to create political instability and embarrass the
government. He said the conspiratorial quarters had made an attempt on
the life of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her home constituency at
Kotalipara last year. He also said police investigations were on to
unearth details of the bomb explosion.
''At about 8 am, all of a sudden, an explosion rocked the
south-western side of the stage," said Dulu, an activist of
Chhayanaut -- organiser of the traditional programme at the daybreak.
Shortly afterwards, there was an after-blast when police were
conducting recovery and evacuation operation, he said. One policeman
was injured in the second bomb explosion.
Police also recovered another bomb from the scene of one of the
worst bomb attacks in recent times in a public function in the
Seven bodies, mostly mutilated, were removed from the macabre
scene after half an hour of the incident. The injured were rushed to
Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Panic gripped the people who came in tens and thousands to
Ramna Batamul to hail Pahela Baishakh and they deserted the lush
green park.Police cordoned off the spot.
Following the incident, all cultural functions organised by cultural organisations were postponed.
Thousands of cultural activists, instead of celebrating, brought
out mourning processions from Dhaka University.
On January 20, a bomb exploded at the rally of Communist Party of
Bangladesh in Dhaka, leaving five people killed.
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