By Mizan Rahman/Dhaka
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterdya told a Dhaka court on Thursday that filing of ‘false’ graft cases is part of a conspiracy to make her ineligible in the next general election. She came up with the remarks while placing her self-defence statement before the special court at Bakshibazar in the capital in Zia Orphanage and Zia Charitable Trust corruption cases. She alleged that the cases were filed in order to prevent her from doing politics, and to make her ineligible for the general election.
“Many ministers and ruling party men made various comments in media about me before the end of trial. Even a minister said I’ll be sent to Kashimpur jail. Isn’t it contempt of court?”
“I’m, therefore, in doubt weather I would get justice from the court,” said the BNP chief adding, “It’s their ulterior motive to annihilate me and my family from politics in a planned manner.”
The court set November 9 as the next date for hearing.
On July 3, 2008, the Anti-Corruption Commission filed the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case with Ramna Police Station accusing Khaleda Zia, her eldest son Tarique Rahman, and four others for misappropriating over 21mn taka that came as grants from a foreign bank for orphans.
On August 8, 2011, the commission filed the Zia Charitable Trust graft case with Tejgaon Police Station accusing four people, including Khaleda Zia, of abuse of power in raising funds for the Trust from unknown sources.
Meanwhile, 19 BNP leaders and activists were arrested in two cases filed by police over two incidents of attacks on Dhaka-Chittagong highway while party chief Khaleda Zia was heading to Cox’s Bazar for distributing relief among Rohingya refugees and returning to Dhaka.
Thirteen BNP men were arrested in a case filed over torching two buses on Dhaka-Chittagong highway while the Zia’s convoy passed through Mahipal of Feni on October 31.
Three of the arrestees are Phulgazi sub-district unit president of Chhatra Dal M Kamal Hossian, Sonagazi municipality BNP president Abu Mobarak Dulal, Feni municipality former commissioner and also BNP leader Delwar Hossian Babul, said Superintendent of Police (SP), Feni SM Jahangir Alam Sarker.
Sub-Inspector Nur Uddin of Feni Model police station filed the case against 69 people, mentioning 29 names on Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, Feni Model Police Station officer-in-charge Rashed Khan Chowdhury said police arrested six people in another case filed for attack on Khaleda’s motorcade in Feni on way to her Cox’s Bazar visit on October 28.
Feni court police inspector AKM Najibul Islam filed the case, accusing 30 unnamed people.
Immediately after the incident, police detained six people, including the buses’ drivers and their helpers, a local leader of Sramik Dal and a Chhatra Dal activist.
Police also filed another case with the same police station, blaming feud between two former BNP lawmakers.
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