POST TIME: 9 February, 2018 12:29:23 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 9 February, 2018 11:57:48 AM
Crisis to deepen: BNP
Party announces countrywide demo after Jum’a prayers today, rally tomorrow
Staff Reporter

Crisis to deepen: BNP

The BNP yesterday said the graft case verdict against party Chairperson Khaleda Zia will deepen the existing crisis in the country and push it towards greater uncertainty. Rejecting the court verdict in what it terms a false case, the BNP announced nationwide demonstration after today's Juma prayer to protest against the court order that announced jail terms for party Chairperson Khaleda Zia and Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman. The party will also hold protest rallies tomorrow across the country.

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir announced the two-day programme at a press briefing at the party’s central office at Naya Paltan immediately after the announcement of the court verdict in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case. Fakhrul also rejected the verdict saying that the government ‘forged documents to lead the court to announce the verdict against Khaleda Zia’ so  that she can be kept away from the next polls.

“We'll hold demonstrations across the country, including Dhaka, on Friday and hold rallies on Saturday to protest against putting our leaders in prison in a false case. Further course of action will be declared later,” he said. “The people did not accept the verdict and our party denounce the verdict as well,” he said.

He also said party leaders and activists would hold peaceful demonstrations in all cities, district towns and upazila headquarters as per the directive of Khaleda Zia. He further said the chairperson had asked them to remain patient for the sake of restoration of democracy in the country.

“Our leader (Khaleda) has urged everyone to keep patience and register their protests peacefully. We've been told not to take up any hasty and imprudent programme,” he added.

“We need to sacrifice a lot to restore democracy in the country. Everyone must keep patience and carry out peaceful protest programmes,” he said.

Moudud Ahmed, Khaleda's lawyer and a standing committee member of the party, said that the trial and verdict were contrary to the constitutional provisions. He also termed the verdict as unfortunate, saying, “Our law states that all trials should be held in public. But journalists were not allowed. Many lawyers were not allowed, let alone the people.”

Khaleda was taken to Central Jail on Nazimuddin Road from the special court-5 at Bakshibazar in the city after the court sentenced her to five years’ jail in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.

Khaleda’s lawyers told reporters at the jail gate that the chairperson had urged the countrymen to have patience and keep their faith in her. The lawyers, who accompanied the former PM to the jail gate, also conveyed the BNP chief’s message to her followers.

Advocate Sanaullah Miah said: “While entering the jail, Khaleda called upon the people to have patience and keep faith in her.”

He quoted the chairperson as having said: “I'll not bow down no matter what adverse situation is created and repression is launched on me.”

BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said the court verdict shows the extent of revengefulness of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.