Dhaka, Oct 3 (UNB)- A day after a call by the party MPs to the Prime Minister for taking steps for releasing their chairperson on bail, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Thursday said Khaleda Zia will be freed through the legal process, not by anybody’s compassion.
“Khaleda Zia won’t be freed by the mercy of anybody. She’ll surely be released on bail as it’s her fair right to get bail,” he said.
Speaking at a human-chain programme, the BNP leader also said the government will not be able to keep Khaleda in jail for a long time as people will free her through a movement.
He called upon the people of all walks of life and all the democratic political parties to get united to ‘restore democracy in the country and force the government to free Khaleda from jail through a movement.
Sammilita Peshajibi Parishad organised the human chain in front of the Jatiya Press Club demanding release of Khaleda Zia.
On Wednesday, BNP MPs urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to see their ailing chairperson Khaleda Zia for herself and take steps for her release on bail.
“We the seven MPs call upon the Leader of the House and the honourable Prime Minister please see for yourself Khaleda Zia, our three-time PM. We’re sure if you see her, it’ll evoke your humanitarian feeling and you’ll feel the compassion for her, ”said BNP MP GM Siraj.
Siraj along with BNP MP Md Zahidur Rahman, Md Mosharof Hosen and Rumeen Farhana met Khaleda at the BSMMU and had nearly an hour-long meeting with her.
On Tuesday, there other BNP MPs -- Harunur Rashid Advocate Abdus Sattar and Amimul Islam -- met Khaleda at the SMMU and they said their jailed chairperson Khaleda Zia is willing to go abroad for treatment if she is granted bail.
Khaleda has been receiving treatment at the BSDMMU since April 1 last.
Khaleda has been in jail since she was convicted in Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case in February 8, 2018. She was found guilty in another corruption case later the same year, though her party claims both the cases are ‘politically motivated’.
Dhaka, Oct 2 (UNB) – BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi on Wednesday aired doubt that the ongoing anti-corruption drive may be a sign of the government’s plan for commuting any big ‘misdeed’.
“Awami League is a patron of corruption-centric politics. So, the government is not getting any response from people to its efforts to involve BNP with the arrested small fry of Awami League and Jubo League,” he said.
Speaking at a press conference, the BNP leader further said, “This drive is a forecast of any major misdeeds and it is also a manifestation of the complex equation of politics of vengeance, jealousy, extortion and nepotism.”
Referring to media reports about the law enforcers’ ‘hesitation’ to arrest Dhaka south unit Jubo League president Ismail Chowdhury Samrat, Rizvi questioned why law enforcers are writing for a green signal from government high-ups to take action against a ‘wrongdoer’ when the Prime Minister says law will take its own course.
He said the government is facing a dilemma over carrying out the drive and arrest the ‘big corrupt’ elements in the ruling party. “That’s why it’s now trying to mislead people by blaming BNP and Tarique Rahman. The so-called anti-corruption drive is completely politically motivated.”
The BNP leader said the ruling party leaders bought homes in different countries and siphoned off huge money abroad as the government has ‘institutionalised’ corruption in the country.
He criticised some newspapers for what he said carrying out ‘false propaganda’ involving Tarique Rahman with casino business.
Dhaka, Oct 2 (UNB) – BNP senior leader Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina not to accept any Indian proposal that may harm people and their interests during her visit to the neighbouring country.
“This is good that you’re going to India, but we want you not to agree to any proposal of India that may hamper the interests of Bangladesh and its people,” he said.
Mosharraf, a BNP standing committee member, also urged the Prime Minister not to do anything which may create any commotion in the subcontinent. “Don’t do anything for which the people of our country can be affected.”
He made the remarks while speaking at a human-chain programme arranged by Jatiyatabadi Textile Engineers Association of Bangladesh in front of the Jatiya Press Club, demanding the release of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to embark on a four-day visit to Delhi on Thursday at the invitation of her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to attend the India Economic Summit of the World Economic Forum (WEF) as the chief guest on Friday.
She will also meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday.
Mosharraf said Sheikh Hasina admitted that her government has been carrying out the current drive against corruption, extortion and casinos to prevent the recurrence of the 11/11 episode. “We want to ask her why you have created a situation which is inviting the 1/11 like incident in the country. This government is responsible for the current situation and the spread of corruption in the country.”
Earlier at a press conference in New York on Sunday, Sheikh Hasina firmly said there is no chance of the recurrence of any 1/11-like incident in Bangladesh as her government is taking punitive actions against every sort of corruption mercilessly.
Mosharraf alleged that the government has so far arrested only some ‘small fry’ insisted of ‘big corrupts’ in the recent drive. “The wrongdoers could not indulge in such acts without the backing of the government and the administration.”
He alleged that the government is turning the country into a failed state by destroying its all institutions in a planned way.
The BNP leader said the financial institutions have been ruined during the rule of the current government through plundering while huge money has been siphoned off abroad by the ruling party men.
Under the circumstances, he urged the country’s people to get united to save the country, ‘restore’ democracy and free Khaleda Zia from jail.
Dhaka, Oct 1 (UNB) – Welcoming the Prime Minister’s announcement to continue the drive against corruption, BNP senior leader Mirza Abbas on Tuesday hoped that ‘big corrupt elements’ belonging to the ruling party will also be arrested soon.
“You (PM) have said you started the anti-corruption purge from your own home (party) and it’ll go on. We welcome your assertion. We hope you’ll soon arrest the big fish,” he said.
Speaking at a human-chain programme, he further said, “The Prime Minister also said they will track down all irrespective of their political affiliations. We (BNP leaders) have got tired of submitting statements (of our wealth) to the Anti-Corruption Commission and court since 2006. So, now you come up with your own (wealth) statements.”
Jatiyatabadi Krishak Dal arranged the programme in front of the Jatiya Press Club, demanding the release of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia and withdrawal of ‘false cases’ filed against party vice chairman Shamsuzzaman Dudu.
At a civic reception accorded to her in New York, USA on Saturday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said action against people involved in irregularities will continue irrespective of their political affiliations.
About the recent drive, Abbas a BNP standing committee member said the government has so far arrested only two people. “I call them (arrested two) street urchins, not small fish. If the street urchins have so much money, how much money is there in the possessions of big fish? People want to know that.”
Referring to a TIB report, he said the government spent Tk 45,000 crore to prove BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman a wrongdoer. “My question is where did you get this money and from which account was it spent?
Abbas said the onion price has increased to Tk 120-130 per kg, but the government is saying there is no reason to be worried about it. “Tell people how much the price of onion will be a matter of worry for you?’
He alleged that the onion price has shot up due to corruption by the people belonging to the ruling party.
The BNP leader said the government has sent hilsa fish to India at Tk 500 per kg ahead of Durga Puja, but the neighbouring country opened 109 Farakka sluicegate in return, pushing Bangladesh towards flood risk.
Abbas said though their party chairperson Khaleda Zia is very sick, she is not given proper treatment as the government wants to kill her in jail.
He urged the government to free Khaleda Zia from jail as per the hopes and aspirations of people.
Rajshahi, Sept 29 (UNB) – BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Sunday suggested Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to try to have the affection of people instead of receiving awards abroad after ‘snatching’ people’s rights.
Speaking at a rally here, he also said the recent drive against casinos has exposed how the government plundered public money.
“People are the owners of the country. There’s no point of receiving awards abroad by fooling people and snatching their rights. Try to get the love of people and it’ll be useful for you,” the BNP leader said pointing at the Prime Minister.
Sheikh Hasina received two prestigious international awards --‘Champion of the Skills Development for Youths' Award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to skill development of the youth, and ‘Vaccine Hero’ award in recognition of Bangladesh's outstanding success in vaccination to immunise children – during her visit to New York to attend the attend the UN’s 74th General Assembly session.
BNP arranged the rally at Pathanpara Crossing in the city demanding the release of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia.
Fakhrul alleged that the ruling party leaders siphoned off Tk 27, 000 crore abroad in the last one year. “The people of the country now want Khaleda Zia to be freed. Your (govt’s) all secrets have got exposed (through the recent drive), and you won’t be able to stay in power anymore.”
He came down hard on Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud for what he said ‘inventing’ information that BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman used to get money from casinos. “You can’t confuse people with such comments as your (govt’s) misdeeds have got uncovered.”
The BNP leader said the government also committed a grave offence by ‘snatching’ people’s voting rights at the dead of night on December 29 last year.
He urged the government to dissolve the current parliament and hold a fresh election under a neutral administration and the Election Commission to install a pro-people and representative government. Or else, the BNP leader warned that people will ensure the fall of the government through a united movement, he said.
“You can’t suppress the movement of people as you’ve been in power rigging votes,” he added.
Mentioning that democracy will be restored only when Khaleda Zia is released, he called upon people irrespective of their party and opinion to get united to wage a strong movement against the government.
Fakhrul said the current government has established a one-party rule by ‘annihilating’ democracy and ‘snatching’ people’s all the democratic rights.
He alleged that the government has imposed an ‘unofficial curfew’ in Rajshahi city to obstruct people from joining BNP’s rally.
The BNP leader claimed that their party’s many leaders and activists were arrested over the last few days centring the rally. “The communications between Rajshahi and other parts of the country remained stopped since morning. It seems a curfew has been imposed here. The entire city looks empty, and no shop is opened and vehicle movement remained suspended. Even, motorcycles are not allowed to ply.”
BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said the local administration and law enforcers blocked BNP leaders and activists at different points of the city in an effort to thwart the rally. “You’re (law enforcers) harming yourselves by indulging in such acts. You’re friends of people and stand by them.”
Another BNP standing committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy said there is no use of holding rallies or making any demand to the government for the release of Khaleda Zia. “We must take to the streets and give a counter-reply if we’re obstructed.”
He also said Khaleda Zia will not be freed unless the current government quits. “So, let’s free Khaleda Zia by ousting the current regime.”
Chaired by BNP Rajshahi city unit president Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul, party standing committee members Mirza Abbas, Iqbal Hossain Mahmud Tuku, its leaders Mizanur Rahman Minu, Habibur Rahman Habib, and Ruhul Quddu Talukder Dulu, among others, addressed the rally.
Bus services on the Natore-Rajshahi route remained halted since Sunday morning, causing immense sufferings to thousands of commuters.
BNP leader Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul claimed that transport workers enforced a strike ahead of the party’s rally, an allegation turned down by transport workers, saying bus services were disrupted due to rain.
Kamal Hossain Robi, a former president of the union, insisted that the services were halted as the number of passengers was low because of rain.
He said buses were running on the Rajshahi-Dhaka route.