BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Tuesday hoped that good sense will prevail upon the government to consider the application submitted by her family seeking extension of her temporary release.
“We’ve always been saying Begum Khaleda Zia was convicted unfairly in false cases. She deserved bail, not punishment,” he said.
The BNP leader said, “We hope good sense will prevail upon the government to free Begum Khaleda Zia.”
He made the remarks while talking to reporters after placing wreaths at party founder Ziaur Rahman's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar grave, marking the 42nd founding anniversary of BNP.
On Monday, Law Minister Anisul Huq said the government will take the decision on extending BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s temporary release after considering her health condition and reviewing her family’s application.
As the six-month suspension of her sentences in two graft cases expires on September 24, Khaleda Zia's younger brother, Shamim Iskander, submitted the application to Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan on August 25 which was later sent to the Law Ministry.
On March 25 last, the 76-year-old BNP chief was released from jail for six months upon an executive order considering her age and humanitarian ground following an application by her family.
The government passed the executive order for her release on two conditions -- receiving treatment at her Gulshan residence and not leaving the country. She has been staying at her Gulshan residence since she was freed.
Khaleda was sent to Old Dhaka Central Jail after she had been sentenced to five years’ imprisonment by a special court in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case on February 8, 2018.
The BNP chief has been staying at her Gulshan residence since she was released. A special team of her personal doctors has been overseeing her health condition.
BNP on Tuesday paid last respect to Major General (retd) Chitta Ranjan Dutta, a war hero and commander of sector-4 during the country’s Liberation War in 1971.
A four-member BNP delegation, led by its vice-chairman Hafizuddin Ahmed, went to CR Dutta’s Banani DOHS home around 7am and placed a wreath at his coffin wrapped with the national flag.
They also paid their last respect by giving him a salute.
The other members of the delegation are Jatiyatabadi Muktijoddha Dal president Ishtiaq Aziz Ulfat, BNP leaders advocate Gautam Chakraborty and Sushil Barua.
Talking to reporters, Hafiz said the nation will ever remember with respect CR Dutta’s contributions to the country’s Liberation War.
He said Captain Abdur Rouf under the leadership of CR Dutta freed Sylhet’s Kanaighat from the grasp of Pakistani occupation forces during the Liberation War.
Later, Hafiz said, CR Dutta had played an outstanding role in developing the army of an independent country as he was the head of its logistics department.
“We’ve come here on behalf of BNP, its chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia and acting chairman Tarique Rahman, to pay homage to such a heroic freedom fighter, and express our sympathy to his bereaved family members,” the BNP leader said.
He prayed for the eternal peace of CR Dutta’s departed soul.
Later, Hafiz handed over a condolence message of the party to late CR Dutta’s son.
He died on August 25 at a hospital in Florida, USA at the age of 93. The war hero was awarded 'Bir Uttam' for his bravery during the War of Independence.
BNP on Tuesday paid homage to its founder Ziaur Rahman marking its 42nd founding anniversary.
Party standing committee members, led by Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, placed wreaths at Zia's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar grave around 11am and offered fateha there maintaining social distancing rules.
They also joined a special prayer (munajat) seeking salvation for Zia's departed soul and good health of party chairperson Khaleda Zia.
BNP Standing Committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Moudud Ahmed, Mirza Abbas, Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, Nazrul Islam Khan and Selima Rahman, were, among others, present.
Talking to reporters after placing the wreaths, Fakhrul said Awami League has established an ‘awful one-party fascist’ rule by ‘snatching’ democracy and people’s rights.
“Restoring democracy is now a big challenge for us. We must uphold the spirit of the Liberation War by restoring democracy and people’s lost rights,” he said.
Fakhrul said they will unite people to permanently free their chairperson Khaleda Zia, who has been released for six months on March 25 last following an executive order, from jail and establish a pro-people government.
Later, the leaders and activists of Dhaka south and north city units of BNP laid wreaths at the late president’s grave.
BNP and its associate bodies are celebrating the founding anniversary with various programmes across the country on a limited scale due to the prevalence of coronavirus.
To mark the day, the party flag was kept hoisted atop the buildings of BNP’s Nayapaltan central office and other offices across the country in the morning.
The party is scheduled to arrange a virtual discussion in the afternoon, marking the day.
Read Also: BNP’s 42nd founding anniversary Tuesday
BNP on Monday expressed deep shock at the death of former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, saying he always saw Bangladesh with affection.
In a condolence message, the party said Pranab Mukherjee’s demise is a matter of deep sorrow and grief.
“The people of Bangladesh and BNP are equally empathic to his death as the people of India. Late Pranab Mukherjee always saw Bangladesh with love and goodwill,” the party said.
It said Pranab Mukherjee was a veteran, experienced and prudent politician of this sub-continent. “His colourful political life was built on a combination of constant efforts, hard work and success.”
The party prayed for the eternal peace of the former Indian President’s departed soul.
It also conveyed profound sympathy to the bereaved family members, admirers and the people of India.
Pranab Mukherjee, who had been in coma after a brain surgery early this month, died at the age of 84.
"With a heavy heart, this is to inform you that my father Shri Pranab Mukherjee has just passed away inspite of the best efforts of doctors of RR Hospital and prayers, duas and prarthanas from people throughout India! I thank all of you," his son Abhijit Mukherjee tweeted.
Pranab Mukherjee was admitted to the hospital on August 10 and had surgery the same day for the removal of a clot in the brain. He had tested positive for COVID-19 at the hospital.
BNP on Monday chose Habibur Rahman Habib, a member of the party chairperson’s advisory council, as its candidate to contest the Pabna-4 by-election.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir came up with the announcement after the party nomination board took virtual interviews of two nomination seekers from its chairperson’s Gulshan office.
“Our nomination board or party standing committee nominated Habibur Rahman Habib as our candidate for Pabna-4 by-election,” he said.
Habib, also the Pabna district unit convener, contested the 11th parliamentary election with BNP’s ticket and got defeated to ruling party contestant Shamsur Rahman Sherif.
On Sunday, Habibur Rahman Habib and Sramik Dal leader Ahsan Habib bought the party’s nomination papers to contest the by-polls with the party’s election symbol ‘Sheaf of Paddy’.
The by-polls to Pabna-4 seat is scheduled to be held on September 26.
As per the schedule, the last date for submitting the nomination papers is September 2, the date for scrutinising nomination papers is September 3 and the last date for the withdrawal of nomination papers is September 8.
The Pabna-4 seat fell vacant following the death of ruling party MP Shamsur Rahman Sherif on April 2, but the Election Commission could not arrange the by-polls as per the constitutional binding of within 180 days due to coronavirus outbreak.
Also read: Pabna-4 by-election: BNP enters race