A special Bangladesh court has indicted the chief of outlawed HuJI and 21 others over the 2004 grenade attack on former premier Sheikh Hasina that had killed 24 people as security officials intensified vigil against the operatives of the militant group across the country.
Judge Mohammad Masdar Hussain of the speedy trial tribunal on Wednesday framed charges against HuJI chief Mufti Mohammad Hannan and 21 others including Abdus Salam Pinto, a former junior minister of past (BNP)-led four party right wing government of ex Pime Minister Khaleda Zia.
Pinto was charged for extending support to the assailants in an attack on the rally of Hasina's Awami League while investigators earlier said that the detained suspects had confessed that it was actually carried out to kill the ex- premier who narrowly escaped the attempt.
The Judge fixed November 5 for starting the hearing as 14 detained accused appeared before the heavily guarded court at downtown Dhaka while the rest are being tried in absence.
"Our campaign against extremist elements, including the HuJI, is underway while an intensified vigil has been ordered and the trial of Mufti Mohammad Hannan (HuJI chief) and others has begun," elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) spokesman Abul Kalam Azad told PTI.
He, however, said that the Harkat-ul-Jihad appeared to have lost its organisational strength owing to a massive security clampdown in the past two years despite media reports that the outfit was trying to regroup under different names.