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Thursday, March 26, 2020

Khaleda released for six months

Staff Reporter  :
BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia has been released from jail following a government decision to stay the conviction for six months to free her on humanitarian grounds considering her age.
The 75-year old BNP chief came out from the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) prison custody along with her family members at 4:15pm on Wednesday.
The former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia was received by her younger sister Selima Islam, brother Shamim Eskander and his wife Kaniz Fatema, Selima's    husband Rafiqul Islam and Tarique Rahman's sister-in-law Shahina Khan Jaman Bindu at a new wheelchair at Cabin Room No. 621 under the supervision of the jail authorities in the city's Shahbagh area.
The ailing Khaleda had been receiving treatment at the BSMMU since April 1, 2019.
Soon after the release, Khaleda Zia alongwith the family members and BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir have boarded a Nissan car, cordoned off by four other cars and a microbus, and headed to her city's Gulshan residence 'Firoza'.
Khaleda Zia's car, convoyed with the squad of the CSF (Chairperson's Security Force) and Police, went to Firoza residence at Road No. 79 at Gulshan amid difficulties to move ahead overcoming the crowd of party leaders and activists.
According to the conditions of her release, Khaleda Zia will have to stay at her home and avail treatment in the country. During the six months of suspension of her jail sentence, she would not be able to travel abroad.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal has said BNP Chairperson Khaleda will stay under her younger brother Shamim Eskander's custody over the period of six months, starting from the time of her release.
He made the statement while speaking to reporters at his secretariat office in Dhaka on Wednesday.
However, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said they will decide about Khaleda's treatment abroad, which is not allowed on the release order, after discussing the matter with Tarique Rahman, Khaleda's son and also the acting chairperson of BNP, and the party high command.
Earlier, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina signed the file of prayer seeking stay of Khaleda Zia's punishment for six months on humanitarian grounds. Finally, the release order of Khaleda Zia reached the BSMMU authorities on Wednesday afternoon through the Prime Minister's Office, Home Ministry and Prison authorities.
The government on Tuesday informed its decision to set the BNP Chairperson free suspending her jail term for six months on humanitarian grounds in view of her age.
On February 8, 2018, the BNP chief was sent to jail after a special court sentenced her to five years' imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case.
On October 30 that year, the High Court increased her punishment to 10 years after dismissing her appeal.
The same special court jailed Khaleda and three others for seven years in the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case on October 29 that year.
The HC rejected her bail petition three times and the Supreme Court once in this case.
The UNO said Alamgir Hossain, the man who recently died, was a cashier at Metropolitan Hospital in the capital and resident of the village. Doctors advised him to undergo home quarantine as he had been suffering from asthma and fever since last week.