Sending Khaleda abroad for treatment to escape popular anger: BNP in government

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Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir. — File photo.

Renewing their party’s demand to allow sick Khaleda Zia to travel abroad for advanced treatment, the Nationalist Party of Bangladesh warned on Sunday that people will not forgive the government if anything bad happens to him treatment.

“We would like to make a final appeal to immediately release Begum Khaleda Zia and send her abroad for advanced treatment. Otherwise, you have to take all the responsibility,” BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said.

Speaking at a rally, the BNP leader also said the government must take responsibility for ensuring Khaleda’s advanced treatment abroad.

“Or else, if something bad happens to him, the locals won’t forgive you. They will pull you out of power,” he warned.

The BNP’s North and South Units in Dhaka staged the rally outside the Jatiya Press Club demanding swift action to ensure advance treatment of Khaleda Zia overseas.

Several thousand BNP leaders and activists from different parts of the capital joined the rally with banners and festoons.

Fakhrul said the government has long prevented Khaleda from seeking treatment abroad, although convicted ruling party leaders are taking advantage of the same opportunity.

“Salim Uddin and Kalim Uddin can all go abroad for treatment. Convicted persons can also travel abroad for treatment. Some people can get there by air ambulance. So why is she (Khaleda) not allowed to seek treatment abroad? ” he questioned.

The BNP leader also said that the Awami League government is not releasing Khaleda or allowing him to go abroad as they are afraid of his popularity.

Fakhrul alleged that the government kept Khaleda confined by convicting her in “bogus” cases by “controlling” the judiciary and the Anti-Corruption Commission in a planned way only to remove her from politics.

Khaleda Zia was admitted to Evercare Hospital in the capital in the early hours of Saturday as she suddenly fell ill.

A stent was placed in the heart of BNP Chairman Khaleda Zia on Saturday afternoon.

She was kept under close observation for 72 hours due to two other blockages and other heart complications, said her doctor, Dr AZM Zahid Hossain.

Fakhrul said three blockages were discovered in the BNP chairwoman’s heart during a coronary angiography test on Saturday, as advised by the medical board formed at Evercare Hospital for her treatment.

Khaleda, a former prime minister, suffers from various ailments including cirrhosis of the liver, arthritis, diabetes, kidney, lung and eye problems.

The former prime minister was sent to Dhaka’s Old Central Jail as a lower court sentenced her to five years in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case on February 8, 2018.

Later, she was found guilty in another corruption case the same year.

Amid the Covid pandemic, the government temporarily released Khaleda from prison through an executive order suspending her sentence on March 25, 2020, on the condition that she stay at her home in Gulshan and not leave the country.

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