Dhaka, Oct 6 (UNB) - Presenting statistics that the party’s 25,70,547 leaders and activists have been implicated in 90,340 false cases over the last 10 years, BNP on Saturday alleged that the government is taking all possible steps to keep BNP away from the next election.
“Around 90,340 false cases have been filed against 25,70,547 people till September 30 since 2009. This is incredible! Besides, 276,277 people have been made accused in 4149 fictitious cases from September 1 to October 5,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
Speaking at a press conference at the party’s Naya Paltan central office, he further said these statistics have demonstrated that the government is putting in its all possible efforts so that BNP cannot join the next election.
The BNP leader said their chairperson Khaleda Zia has been kept in jail in a ‘false’ case and Senior Vice Chairman Tarique Zia was sent into exile also in a ‘false’ case while the trial in the cases filed against their senior leaders has been expedited so that they cannot join the next polls.
“The people of the country want a fair election and change of the government, and for this a credible election is needed so that all the opposition parties can participate in it,” he said.
“We would like to clearly say an atmosphere conducive to fair election must be created. Our leader (Khaleda) will have to be freed from jail. All the cases filed against our leaders and activists must be withdrawn and our seven –point demand have to be accepted for creating an election environment,” he added.
Dhaka, Oct 6 (UNB) – BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia was admitted to the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) on Saturday afternoon after prison authorities shifted her there from old Dhaka Central jail for better treatment in response to a court order.
“BNP leader Khaleda Zia was admitted to our hospital. She’s now on the 5th floor of the Cabin Block,” BSMMU director Brigadier General Md Abdullah-Al-Harun told reports at a press briefing.
He said a 5-member fresh medical board, headed by Dr Abdul Jalil Chowdhury, a professor of medicine department, was formed as per the court order.
After her admission, Harun said, Prof Abdul Jalil examined Khaleda’s health and completed the necessary formalities for providing treatment to her.
He said the medical board will hold a meeting at 1 pm on Sunday to take a decision about her treatment. “We’ll be able to start her treatment after the medical board’s meeting.”
The other members of the board are Syed Atqiul Haq of Rheumatology department, Prof Sajal Krishna Banerjee of Cardiology department, Prof Nakul Kumar Datta of Orthopedic department and associate professor Dr Badrunnesa Ahmad of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation department of the BSMMU.
Asked about Khaleda’s physical condition, the BSMMU director said they will talk about it after the medical board’s meeting.
He said Khaleda talked to him and the BSMMU VC, and exchanged greetings with them when she was taken to the 5th floor of the Cabin Block.
The director said they have taken additional security measures following the BNP chief’s admission to the hospital.
Brigadier General Harun said they reconstituted the medical board for Khaleda following the apex court’s direction.
However, Dr AZM Zahid Hossain, secretary general of pro-BNP Doctors' Association of Bangladesh (DAB), alleged that the medical board was not formed following the High Court’s direction as three doctors of the board are members of Swadhinata Chikitsak Parishad (Swachip).
Talking to reporters at the BSMMU, he said the court directed the authorities concerned not to include any member of DAB or Swachip in the board. “But Sajal Krishna Banerjee, Nakul Kumar and Dr Badrunnesa Ahmad are the members of Swachip.”
Earlier, Khaleda was taken to the Cabin Block of the hospital in a white car of Dhaka Metropolitan Police around 3:40pm.
Hospital sources said she was kept in room No 611 on the 5th floor of the Cabin Block of the hospital. Earlier, the jail authorities booked room No 611 and 612 for Khaleda.
Several police vehicles escorted her to the hospital from the old Central Jail at Nazimuddin Road.
Earlier, her orthopedic bed was shifted from the central jail to the cabin block around 2:55 pm.
BSMMU director Brigadier General Harun-Ur-Rashid and other physicians were present when the car carrying Khaleda reached the hospital gate.
Clad in a pink sari, Khaleda stepped down from the vehicle amid rain around 3:45pm and sat down in a wheelchair. Later, she was taken to the fifth floor of the Cabin Block.
Several hundred BNP leaders and activists gathered on the Hospital premises to see their party chief, but police intercepted them from approaching Khaleda. They chanted various slogans braving rain demanding Khaleda’s release.
Senior BNP leaders, including its secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and Standing Committee members Moudud Ahmed and Mirza Abbas, Zainul Abedin, AZM Zahid, Netai Roy Chowdhury, Amanullah Aman, Khairul Kabir Khokon and Nazimuddin Alam were, among others, present at the hospital.
A huge number of police, Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), Detective Branch (DB) of police and Ansar members was deployed at the Hospital to maintain law and order and security.
Meanwhile, Jail Superintendent Iqbal Kabir of Keraniganj Central Jail met Khaleda in the morning.
The High Court on Thursday directed the government to immediately admit Khaleda Zia to the BSMMU and form a 5-member medical board afresh for her treatment.
Khaleda Zia was in the erstwhile Dhaka Central Jail at Nazimuddin Road since she was sentenced to five years' imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case on February 8.
On September 16, a medical board formed by the government for jailed Khaleda, suggested admitting her to a hospital like BSMMU though they have found 'no symptom of any serious disease' in her.
On April 7 last, Khaleda Zia underwent some medical tests at the BSMMU because of her illness.
BNP has long been demanding that Khaleda be shifted to United Hospital in the city for her better treatment as the condition of her left hand and leg is very bad.
She was finally admitted to the BSMMU nearly eight months after she had been sent to jail.
New York, Oct 6 (AP/UNB) — An Ecuadorian pizza deliveryman freed from an immigration detention facility by a judge who criticized the handling of the case will remain free after the government declined Friday to pursue an appeal.
Attorneys notified the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan that the government won't challenge a judge's July decision freeing Pablo Villavicencio.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, said in a statement that he wasn't surprised.
"The federal government is admitting what we already knew — there was absolutely no legitimate reason to lock Mr. Villavicencio up and take him away from his family," Cuomo said.
Villavicencio, 35, was detained June 1 in New Jersey after delivering pizza to the Fort Hamilton Army base in Brooklyn. The detention came as Villavicencio was in the process of seeking to establish legal residency and overcome a 2010 order to leave the country. He is married to a U.S. citizen. Their two young daughters also are U.S. citizens.
Cuomo said his arrest "while he was doing his job was an outrageous affront to our New York values and raised serious concerns of ethnic profiling."
When he ordered the release of Villavicencio over the summer, U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty said he didn't believe the detention was "accidental or random."
"It should not be difficult to discern that families should be kept together rather than be separated by the thoughtless and cruel application of a so called 'zero tolerance' policy," Crotty wrote.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered the policy in April.
Nicholas Biase, a spokesman for government attorneys, said a notice of appeal that had been filed while the government decided whether to pursue an appeal was withdrawn Friday.
In a statement, The Legal Aid Society, which represented Villavicencio, said it was pleased that the government "fully withdrew their challenge to Mr. Villavicencio's hard-won release from immigration detention and his opportunity to pursue lawful status."
Dhaka, Oct 5 (UNB) - BNP on Friday alleged that the government is conspiring to hurriedly complete the trial in the cases filed against BNP top leaders ahead of the national election.
“There’s no rule of law in the country. We’ve seen what happened to our madam (Khaleda). The same thing is happening regarding the cases filed against our Senior Vice-chairman Tarique Rahman,” said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
Speaking at a discussion, he further said, “Three dates are being fixed in a week for hearing cases against our standing committee members to expedite the trial proceedings. It means they (govt) are trying to settle everything before the election.”
Sammilita Peshajibi Parishad, a pro-BNP professionals’ body, arranged the discussion at the Supreme Court Bar Association auditorium protesting the cases against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, Tarique and other BNP leaders.
Fakhrul alleged that the government does not want to hold a fair and neutral election as it fears BNP and people.
Referring to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s comments that all world leaders want Awami League to return to power again, he said country’s people do not want it. “It’s astonishing that a political party like Awami League is now trying to hang on to power depending on state machinery as it’s become politically bankrupt.”
The BNP leader warned the government that it will not able to do anything ignoring people’s hopes and aspirations. “You’ll have to take steps as per people’s desires. I would like to tell them enough is enough now, take measures for holding a free and fair election so that people can exercise their voting rights. “
Fakhrul also called upon the government to release Khaleda from jail to resolve the country’s political crisis.
About the national unity, he expressed the hope that they will be able to ensure the fall of the current government to forge the national unity. “We all are trying together to overcome the current situation. We’re working to remove the current dangerous, fascist and despotic government to create a national unity as per the call made by our chairperson Khaleda Zia.”
He called upon people from all walks of life, including the professionals, to get united for launching a movement to save the country and its independence and sovereignty.
Dhaka, Oct 5 (UNB) – BNP on Friday voiced deep concern over the rise in the arrest of its leaders and activists in ‘fictitious’ cases as around 4,650 were arrested over the last one month.
Speaking at a press conference at the party’s Nayapaltan central office, party senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi also alleged that the verdict in the August-21 case is being given before the national election with a ‘political motive’.
“The number of arrests in the fictitious cases is increasing gradually. Our 4,650 leaders and activists were arrested in such cases since September 1. Of them, 247 were placed on remand,” the BNP leader said.
Besides, he said, their party’s 3.60 lakh people were made accused in 4,135 cases over the last one month.
Rizvi said their party’s many leaders and activists were arrested on Thursday at different parts of the country, including Bhola, Chattogram, Sunamganj, Noakhali, Thakurgaon, Munshiganj, Habiganj, Cumilla and Narsingdi.
He alleged that an uneasy calm has been prevailing across the country due to the filing of ‘fictitious’ cases and police raids on the houses of BNP leaders and activists.
About the verdict to be delivered on October 10 in the August-21 case, the BNP leader said, “The date for pronouncing the verdict in the case has been fixed before the election with a political motive to take an advantage of the current suffocating situation.”
Referring to some ministers’ assertions that BNP will fall in danger after the verdict of the August-21 case, Rizvi said it raises doubt in public mind whether the judgement is being written as per the government’s dictate.