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POST TIME: 10 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Relatives visit Khaleda
STAFF REPORTER

Relatives visit Khaleda

Relatives and party leaders yesterday paid a visit to BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia at Central Jail on Nazimuddin Road in the capital. The former premier passed her first night there after being convicted by a Dhaka court in the Zia Orphanage graft case on Thursday. BNP sources said the relatives and party leaders took fruits and other food items for Khaleda and enquired about her health. But some party leaders and workers felt dejected as the jail authorities denied them the permission to meet Khaleda. However, Khaleda’s sister Selina Hossain, younger brother Shamim Iskandar, Iskandar’s wife Kaniz Fatema and their son Ovik Iskandar were allowed to visit the former premier inside the jail with food.

The relatives, who had come in a car, arrived in the afternoon and entered the jail after waiting for half an hour. Earlier in the morning, the wives of two Shewachhasebak Dal leaders wanted to meet Khaleda Zia. They were Bithika Binte Hossain and Rowshan Ara. But they were stopped at a barricade put up in front of Shahi Masjid on Nazimuddin Road, said Sheikh Aminul Bashar, inspector of Sutrapur police station.

“We can’t allow anybody inside the jail. It’s a matter for the jail authority to decide. We’r doing it for the sake of security,” added the police officer.

The two women waited for about half an hour, far away from the jail gate, but were not allowed in. They went back after some time.

Bithika said: “I brought some fruits for my mother (Khaleda Zia). She likes these fruits. But the police did not allow me to go to the jail gate.”

Later, three other BNP women leaders—advocate Arifa Jesmin, Netrakona district Mahila Dal joint convener Rehena Talukder, and Supreme Court Bar Association vice-president Umme Kulsum Rekha—came to the jail gate with fruits to meet Khaleda. But they were not allowed to pass either.

Some other lawyers of the defence council also came to the jail gate with fruits and food items. Meanwhile, Khaleda Zia was given handmade bread and vegetables in the morning. But the BNP chairperson said she liked sandwiches and vegetables for breakfast.

Later, the jail authority gave her the food of her choice, according to sources. In addition, a doctor checked her health and informed the jail authority that she was fine.

Senior jail superintendent Jahangir Kabir said they were providing maximum facilities to Khaleda Zia as per the jail code. A lower court on Thursday handed down a five-year rigorous imprisonment term to Khaleda Zia for the embezzlement of donation funds of the Zia Orphanage Trust.