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Govt ill-treating jailed BNP leaders: Khaleda

STAFF REPORTER :

Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Chairperson Khaleda Zia has expressed deep concern over reports that many of the party leaders and activists, including the party’s acting Secretary Generakhal Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, are seriously ill in jail.

In a press statement issued yesterday, Khaleda called upon the government to restore political coexistence and an environment for healthy competitive politics in the country by freeing detained opposition leaders and activists and withdrawal of “false cases” filed against them.

“Many of the political detainees were tortured both physically and mentally taking them in repeated police remands illegally and with an ill-motive. Many of them are elderly leaders and suffering from many diseases. Many of them are falling sick seriously because of lack of medical care,” she alleged.

The former premier demanded immediate release of leaders and activists of the opposition, including those from the BNP, and withdrawal of other cases filed against them with political vengeance.

“I am urging the government to accelerate the process of the release of senior party leaders, particularly those who are very sick,” she said.

The statement signed by BNP Chairperson’s press secretary Maruf Kamal Khan alleged that many of the opposition leaders and activists have been detained without trial for long. The BNP chief further alleged that these leaders have been implicated in false and fabricated cases by the Anti-Corruption Commission, which she said was loyal to the government and was acting with a political vengeance to suppress the opposition.

Khaleda pointed out several other incidents to drive her point home. Nassiruddin Pintu, who was sent to Rajshahi Central jail ignoring the directive of High Court, died recently due to negligence of jail authorities. Ailing Mirza Alamgir was sent back to prison without being given proper treatment. Dr Mosharraf was also refused treatment after he fell in the washroom of the prison, she alleged.

“Their family members and we are concerned over the incidents,” she added.

The statement further said that the application of law, investigation and judiciary had turned into an instrument of the government, narrowing the scope for state organs to discharge their duties properly.

Political leaders have been denied their natural right to bail due to their opposition of the government, she alleged, adding that the government was even against bail for providing better treatment to the detained leaders.

“I urge the government to refrain from such inhuman behaviour,” she added.

The detained leaders that she mentioned in the statement also include party standing committee members Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain and Goyeshawar Chandra Roy, Vice President Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury, Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi Ahmed, Chairperson’s adviser MA Mannan, Shamsuzzaman Dudu, Mosaddeque Ali, Lutfozzaman Babar, Aslam Chowdhury, Abdus Salam Pintu and Ariful Haque Chowdhury.

The BNP Chairperson also accused the rulers of bringing the activities of a party like BNP to a standstill through attacks and by implicating party activists in legal tangles.

She further called upon the government to take a lesson that nobody could benefit by obstructing democratic politics.