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20 April, 2019 12:43:58 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 20 April, 2019 11:10:23 AM

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BNP wants Khaleda release ‘on bail, not on parole

“We want the release of our chairperson Khaleda Zia on bail. We never spoke about her release on parole”
RAFIQUL ISLAM AZAD, Dhaka
BNP wants Khaleda release ‘on bail, not on parole

Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), the arch rival of the ruling Awami League, is seeking the release of the party’s ailing chairperson Khaleda Zia’s on bail, not on parole. Most of the party rank and file believe that Khaleda Zia is entitled to be released on bail and that she is unable to come out of jail because of government interference.

Talking to The Independent, some of the party leaders including the lawmakers-elect said if the former premier got bail, the party may consider joining parliament.

But many leaders see no logic in joining parliament by the BNP as they have rejected the results of December 30 parliamentary polls, alleging vote rigging.

“We always say that we want the release of our chairperson Khaleda Zia on bail. We never spoke about her release on parole,” said BNP standing committee member Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain.

Asked whether the BNP lawmakers-elect would join parliament, he parried the question, saying that he had no idea.

“Since after rejection of the election over vote rigging we decided not to take oath and join parliament. Our decision remains unchanged,” he added.

About a recent meeting of the party’s six lawmakers-elect, he said he was not aware of it and added there was no meeting among the party policymakers over joining parliament. Accusing the government of interfering in her release on bail, he said Khaleda Zia would have been released long ago had it not been for government interference.

BNP vice chairman Shamsuzzaman Dudu said the BNP and its leaders had never mentioned parole for the release of party chairperson. It was the government and its home minister harped on the parole issue to undermine Khaleda and her party, he said.

Khaleda and her family members did not seek her release on parole as she was entitled to be released on bail. The government was using the option of parole as a weapon to undermine the former premier, he added.

Replying to a question he also accused the government of lobbying to bring the BNP lawmakers-elect to parliament and termed the exercise as a drama.

He, however, made it clear that some lawmakers could place their personal opinion about joining parliament but none of them would violate the decision of the party.  BNP legal affairs secretary Barrister Kaiser Kamal also said that the former prime minister and BNP chairperson was entitled to get bail as she fulfilled all the requirements for being released on bail. She was aged and ill, and her social status was such that she would not be absconding after getting bail.

“All the requirements are fulfilled by Khaleda because Section 497 of the CrPC clearly states privilege of bail can be given to a lady woman…Therefore she is entitled to get the bail,” he said.

He mentioned that she was granted bail by the High Court in Zia Orphanage Graft case on March 12 last year. That time she could have emerged from the jail as a free person.

“Since government interfered and the state mechanism worked to prevent her getting out on bail, as the parliamentary election was knocking at the door, she was confined in solitary jail in Dhaka city. We believe if law takes its own course and the government or state mechanism does not interfere and court of law can act impartially, Begum Khaleda Zia will get the bail,” he observed.

Kaiser Kamal, also a counsel of Khaleda, said the question of parole was utterly unexpected for the BNP and its chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia. She has categorically said that since she is entitled to get the bail she is not willing to come out from the jail by an administrative order.

“She (Khaleda) believes and as a loyal citizen of the country she believes if law and order situation or law takes its own course and the court judges’ act impartially she will get the bail and she will be acquitted from the high court division and the appellate division. Therefore question of parole dies not arise at all,” he said.

Being a law secretary and a contestant in the last election, he said he believed the election was not fair and free. “So, we do not accept the result of the elections. And since we don’t accept the result of the election, it is only natural that we are not taking oath.”

Kaiser Kamal, who contested the December 30 parliamentary polls from Netrakona-1 constituency, said the election was not free and fair. He claimed the votes had been cast the night before the polling day. “Even as a candidate I was not able to go to the polling station to cast my vote,” he lamented.

Replying to a question, he said Khaleda, who is facing around 37 cases, needs bail from the High Court in Zia Charitable Trust and Zia Orphanage graft cases. “We will soon move the bail petition before the High Court,” he added.

Khaleda was sent to jail after a special court awarded her a five-year jail term in a graft case and sent her to the old central jail at Najimuddin road on February 8.

Meanwhile, the BNP and its allies in 20-party alliance and Jatiya Oikyafront took part in the election but rejected the polls over vote engineering. BNP received only six and Ganaforum 2 seats from among the 300 constituencies.

The two Ganaforum leaders joined parliament by ignoring the party and Oikyafront decision but the BNP lawmakers-elect are yet to take oath. They have to take oath by April 30, or their seats would be fell vacant.

IK

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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