Dhaka, Aug 14 (UNB) - BNP chairperson and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, now in jail, turns ‘75' on Thursday.
BNP has no scheduled programme to celebrate the day on Thursday.
However, the party will arrange doa mahfil across the country on Friday on the occasion.
BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi announced the programme at a press briefing at the party’s Nayapaltan central office on Wednesday.
“Our beloved leader’s (Khaleda’s) 75 birthday tomorrow (Thursday). Our party will arrange doa mahfi all over the country seeking her early recovery from illness and long life,” he said.
He alleged that Khaleda has been kept in jail as she was subjected to political vengeance of the current government.
As in the last previous three years, the party has no programme to cut any cake to celebrate the birthday in the early hours of Thursday.
Amid criticisms by Awami League leaders for celebrating her birthday on the National Mourning Day, BNP marked her 72nd and 73rd and 74th birthdays through holding doa mahfil instead of cutting any cake.
Khaleda was sent to Old Dhaka Central Jail since her conviction in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case by a lower court on February 8, 2018. The BNP chief was shifted to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University on April 1 last for treatment and she has been staying there since then.
Meanwhile, the nation is set to observe the National Mourning Day the same day commemorating the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family members on August 15, 1975.
Khaleda and her party have been observing August 15 as her birthday since 1991, but there are controversies about her actual date of birth and even the birth year.
Various records suggest Khaleda Zia was born in 1945 and she will turn 74 on Wednesday. But her party claimed in 2015 that her actual birth year is 1946. She also registered her birth year 1946 in her new passport.
According to Banglapedia and well-known encyclopedias Wikipedia and Britannica Khaleda was born to Iskandar Majumder, a businessman, and Taiyaba Majumder in Dinajpur district in 1945.
The biodata of Khaleda Zia submitted to the Parliament Secretariat when she was made the opposition leader last suggests that she was born on August 15, 1945.
Awami League leaders have long been claiming that her birthday is September 5, 1945 as per her marriage certificate while August 19, 1946 as per her first passport. Khaleda herself put the date as August 9, 1944 while registering for her matriculation exams, they said.
Dhaka, Aug 14 (UNB) – BNP on Wednesday demanded withdrawal of the government decision to lift the ban on rawhide export for the sake of the country’s leather industry.
“The government has announced to allow the rawhide export after people dumped and buried those out of anger after Qurban due to throwaway prices. People want to know in whose interest such a decision has been taken,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
Speaking at a press briefing at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, he also said the interests of the poor, orphans and destitute have been harmed due to the tricks played by a syndicate and plunderers over buying the rawhides of sacrificial animals.
He said the tannery sector will be destroyed if the rawhides are allowed to be exported. “The existence of the country’s leather industry will be at stake and the investment of hundreds of crores of taka in it will face risk if the rawhides are exported.”
The BNP leader also warned that the local leather industry will be forced to import rawhides at very high prices in the days to come if those of the sacrificial animals are now exported.
He said huge rice was exported when farmers set fire to their paddy fields being deprived of the fair prices of their crops.
Stating that many orphanages and madrasas are run by selling the rawhides of sacrificial animals they get from people during the eid, he said these organisations will face a serious trouble this time due to the cheaper prices of the rawhides.
He questioned the motive behind suddenly allowing the rawhide export when people were deprived of fair prices of those.
“The way rice was exported to another country after setting fire to paddy fields, the same way the rawhides bought at throwaway prices will have to export to a neighbouring country destroying the leather industry. The poor, orphans and destitute suffered losses while the plunderers and the syndicate and their cohorts got benefited.”
The BNP leader also feared that many people directly or indirectly involved with the leather industry will be affected and lose jobs if the rawhides are exported. “So, we protest the government’s decision of lifting the ban on rawhide export and strongly demand the government revoke it immediately.”
On Tuesday night, the government decided to permit the export of rawhides to ensure their fair prices.
"The business community’s cooperation is sought in buying and selling of rawhides at the prices fixed by the Commerce Ministry. It’s being noticed that the hide of the sacrificial animals are not being sold at the prices fixed by the ministry,” said a handout.
Thakurgaon, Aug 14 (UNB) – BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Wednesday urged the government to quit immediately considering the country’s current situation.
Talking to reporters at his local residence before starting his journey for the capital, he also said the leather industry suffered a setback during this Eid-ul-Azha due to the foul play of a syndicate and for lack of a good leather policy.
“This government is harming the country as it’s not elected by people. The state, the social system and the economy have collapsed. Irregularities in the banking sector now have become all pervasive,” Fakhrul said.
He alleged that influential ruling party leaders and their advisers are not repaying the loans of different banks. “Some people having political link are destroying the banking sector and the economy. That’s why we’ve repeatedly been saying this government has no connection with people.”
The BNP leader alleged that the government is deceiving people by inflating the GDP growth and people’s per capita income. “They’re talking about huge development resorting to tricks to fool people. Many economists have already proved that the government’s assertion over the development is not right.”
Under the current circumstances of the country, he said, the government should step down immediately and hold a fresh election under a neutral administration.
About the throwaway prices of rawhides, he said many people buried the rawhides of their sacrificial animals being deprived of reasonable prices. “The rawhides of the sacrificial animals are usually supplied to the leather industry, but the leather traders got affected badly this time due to the negative role of a syndicate.”
He said a crisis has been created in the lather industry for lack of a government policy and necessary steps to ensure discipline in it.
The BNP leader also said the government is not at all concerned about people’s interests since it has no relation with them.
He said it is now imperative to free BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail to save the country and its people from ‘misrule’.
About the ruling party leader Mahbubul Alam Hanif’s remark about seeking presidential clemency by Khaleda, Fakhrul said their chairperson did not commit any such crime for which she needs to seek clemency.
Dhaka, Aug 12 (UNB) – Jailed BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia passed around two hours with her relatives, including her two granddaughters, and took homemade food they brought for her at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) on the Eid day on Monday.
Party sources said six relatives of the BNP chief with some cooked food, new clothes and flowers entered BSMMU cabin-621, where she is receiving treatment, around 1:30pm.
Sharmila Rahman Sithi, wife of Khaleda’s late son Arafat Rahman Koko, Sithi’s two daughters Zahia Rahman and Zaifa Rahman, Khaleda’s brother Shamim Iskandar, his wife Kaniz Fatema and son Ovik Iskandar met her.
They came out of the cabin around 3:30pm.
Coming out of the hospital, Khaleda’s relatives said she was very happy to see her two granddaughters -- Zahia and Zaifa.
She adored them and embraced them after they took her blessings touching her feet, they said.
The BNP chief’s physical condition is not good as she cannot walk without the help of anyone else, they said.
Khaleda was taken to the BSMMU from jail on April 1 last for treatment.
On February 8, 2018, Khaleda was sent to jail after a special court sentenced her to five years' rigorous imprisonment in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
Khaleda has been staying at the jail with her domestic help Fatema Begum.
With this, the BNP chairperson has spent six Eids in jail.
The BNP chief earlier had celebrated Eid twice in jail after her arrest by the army-backed caretaker government after the 1/11 political changeover in 2007.
Dhaka, Aug 12 (UNB) - The BNP on Monday said the government’s failure on all fronts has robbed the people of their Eid joy.
“Most of the areas in the country have been hit hard by flood while dengue has turned epidemic. The people are not in a joyous mood on the occasion of Eid,” said senior leader Khandakar Mosharraf Hossain.
Mosharraf, along with their party leaders and activists, went to Zia’s grave around noon and also placed a wreath on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha.
Speaking to reporters, he said: “We’d like to say that the people cannot celebrate Eid properly due to the government’s incompetence and failure to create a congenial atmosphere.”
Mosharraf, a BNP standing committee member, said an anarchic has been prevailing in the country as the incumbent government is neither elected by people nor accountable to them.
The BNP leader said there is no alternative to restoring democracy and establishing a democratic government to overcoming the current situation.
He criticised the government for its failure to ensure smooth Eid journey.
Mosharraf said people collapse of train schedules and long tailbacks on highways due to the government mismanagement inflicted immense suffering on the people.
He alleged that the government has incarcerated BNP chief Khaleda Zia in false cases. He said Khaleda must be freed to restore a democratic atmosphere in the country.