Relatives meet Khaleda in jail, avoid media

Staff Correspondent | Updated at 12:24am on February 10, 2018

Four relatives met former prime minister Khaleda Zia on Friday afternoon inside a makeshift prison on Nazimuddin road in the capital’s Chawkbazar, a day after she was jailed for five years in a graft case.
Khaleda’s brother Shameem Eskander and his wife Kaniz Fatema and their son Faaek Eskander and her sister Salma Islam met her at the prison, her lawyer Kawsar Kamal told New Age.
They met Khaleda, also chairperson of Bangladesh Nationalist Party, with foods she liked most and shared some moment where she
was living since Thursday afternoon.
Shamim Eskander and others avoided meeting the journalists waiting there to know about Khaleda and took alternative route to leave Dhaka Central Jail, which the authorities concerned have planned to transform into an amusement park.
Inspector general of prisons Syed Iftekhar Uddin Ahmed and other officials kept mum over her health situation while sources said a female pharmacist, Meherunnessa, was appointed for her supervision.
‘So far as I know she is in good health,’ home minister Asaduzzaman Khan hoped, adding, ‘If there is anything serious, I will be informed’.
The police officials restricted road communication with putting road-blocks, hampering local traders to run their business.
Inspector Sheikh Aminul Bashar, who in charge of security of one of the check-posts, told New Age that 150 police personal were deployed around the prison facilities. Besides, the authorities engaged intelligence officials, he added.
Many people were seen arguing with the police personnel who did not allow them to get into their houses near the prison.
A businessman, Selim Ahmed, was seen to walk to police check post from his house just to take way her daughter from the check post.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia landed in the 18th-century prison Thursday afternoon, soon after she was handed a five-year imprisonment for misappropriating a donation fund of Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
The prison, where the four state leaders were assassinated in November 1975, was declared closed in the end of 2016 and shifted its inmates to newly built prison in Keraniganj.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was confined to Dhaka Central Jail numerous times before he became the country’s founding president.
Many left politicians and intellectuals were also jailed there.
When dictator HM Ershad ruled from 1981 to 1990, dozens of prominent student leaders were jailed, both from Awami League and Bangladesh Nationalist Party.
More recently, the military-backed caretaker government that ruled the country from 2006 to 2008 arrested many top politicians from both parties and held them in the central jail before Hasina won elections in late 2008.