BNP demands release of Khaleda on humanitarian grounds

Obaidul says Fakhrul phoned him

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:43, Feb 15,2020


Bangladesh Nationalist Party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Friday said that none should do politics over Khaleda Zia’s health and that she needed to be freed urgently on humanitarian grounds.

The BNP leader made the comment while responding to a question whether he, during his telephone conversation with ruling Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader, got any response from him.

 ‘You should ask him [Obaidul] the question. Ask him, it would be better,’ Fakhrul said

He said that their party chairperson and former prime minister Khaleda Zia’s health had sharply deteriorated and her family had made an appeal a few days ago for sending her abroad for advanced treatment.

‘The government or any other quarter should not do politics over these [matters]and, I think, it is very urgent that she should be released totally on humanitarian grounds,’ he said.

The BNP leader was talking to reporters after a meeting of the party standing committee at the party chairperson’s Gulshan office in Dhaka in the evening, hours after the AL general secretary had claimed that Fakhrul called him.

None of the leaders disclosed about when the call was made and what they talked about.

Obaidul, while briefing the media at their party president Sheikh Hasina’s political office at Dhanmondi in Dhaka, said that Fakhrul had phoned him but they did not get any written statement from the BNP regarding the parole of Khaleda Zia.

‘Besides, the home and law ministers did not receive any statement as to why Khaleda Zia should be released on parole,’ he added.

He claimed that the doctors’ statement and the BNP leaders’ claim about Khaleda’s health condition do not match, adding, ‘The government is sincere towards the proper treatment of Khaleda Zia and she is receiving proper treatment’.

On Wednesday, Khaleda’s brother submitted a letter to the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University vice-chancellor seeking recommendation to the government to take her abroad for advanced treatment.

On that day, the family met the BNP chief in the hospital in the afternoon and later urged the government to release her unconditionally as her health was getting worse.

Fakhrul at the Gulshan news briefing also said that his party had been moving courts, organising street programmes and speaking across the country for past two years.

He said that the standing committee meeting also discussed the cases against Khaleda with her lawyers.

After the meeting, senior Supreme Court lawyer Khandaker Mahbub Hossain said that they would again file a petition soon for Khaleda’s bail.

Asked when the bail petition would be filed, senior jurist and BNP standing committee member Muhammad Jamiruddin Sircar said, ‘Maybe next week, week after.’

Khaleda has been in jail since February 8, 2018, the day she was convicted by a special court in Dhaka in a graft case which the BNP terms false and fabricated.

Ailing Khaleda was shifted to the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University hospital on April 1, 2019.

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