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Khaleda will be sent back to jail if BNP crosses limit: PM Sheikh Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has threatened to send BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia to jail again if the party leaders and workers cross limit.

The prime minister made the threat while speaking at a discussion organised by Awami League in observance of ‘Jail Killing Day’ at at Bangabandhu International Conference Center in Dhaka on Thursday.

“We’ve given her (Khaleda Zia) scope of staying in her house, suspending her sentence on humanitarian grounds. If BNP does excesses, we will send her back to jail again,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said, “I have shown mercy as Khaleda Zia’s brother and sister appealed for her release from jail. But, if the party does excesses, she will be sent back to jail again.”

Former prime minister Khaleda Zia had to go to jail following her punishment in Zia Orphanage Trust Corruption case filed by Anti-Corruption Commission in February 2018. Later, she was also given punishment in Zia Charitable Trust Corruption case.

Following the coronavirus pandemic, the government released Khaleda Zia temporarily in an executive order on March 25, 2020 responding to an appeal submitted by her family members. The government also slapped condition stating that Khaleda Zia would have to stay in the country. Afterward, the tenures of her release were extended several times.

Coming out of prison, Khaleda Zia got into her Gulshan residence ‘Firoza’. During her stay over there, the BNP chief was infected with coronavirus in April 2021. At that time, she was admitted to Evercare Hospital in the capital.

The 77-year-old Khaleda Zia has been suffering from blocks in the blood vessels of her heart, arthritis, diabetes, kidney ailments, complications in lungs and eyes.

After she was admitted to Evercare Hospital last year, Khaleda Zia’s physicians said she was suffering from liver cirrhosis and bleeding. Later, the family submitted several applications to the government through the home ministry to send Khaleda Zia abroad for advanced treatment. However, the government rejected the applications every time.

Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader delivered the welcome speech while party presidium members Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, Engr Mosharraf Hossain and Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya Bir Bikram, Central Committee member Parvin Zaman Kalpana, martyred Syed Nazrul Islam’s daughter Dr Syeda Zakia Noor Lipi, and Dhaka South and North Awami League presidents Abu Ahmed Monnafi and Sheikh Bazlur Rahman spoke at the event.

Awami League Publicity and Publication Secretary Abdus Sobhan Golap and his deputy Aminul Islam moderated the discussion.

The day was observed to remember the four national leaders, Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmed, Captain M Mansur Ali and AHM Quamruzzaman, who were assassinated inside Dhaka Central Jail on November 3, 1975.

The massacre happened barely three months after anti-liberation elements assassinated Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family members, on August 15, 1975.