The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party on Sunday gave a 48-hour ultimatum to the government to release party chairperson Khaleda Zia and allow her to go abroad for advanced medical treatment.
‘Today I want to say very clearly that Begum Khaleda Zia must be released within the next 48 hours. She has to be sent abroad for treatment,’ BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said while addressing a rally in Dhaka.
BNP’s Dhaka north and south city units jointly organised the rally in front of the party’s Naya Paltan central office, demanding the immediate release of Khaleda Zia and her better treatment abroad.
‘Don’t do that type of trickery that she did not apply or others. In the letter that was given from the family, there was a demand for her release. Similarly, it also asked to allow her to go out for treatment. You [the government] are suppressing it and telling blatant lies,’ said Fakhrul.
‘If she [Khaleda Zia] is not released, the government will have to take responsibility if any incident happens,’ the BNP leader said.
Several thousand BNP leaders and activists joined the rally, ignoring the bad weather, while party units also held similar programmes in different parts of the country on the day.
Fakhrul also urged the government to prove that it believed in democracy, at least by freeing Khaleda Zia.
‘Otherwise, it will not be good for you,’ he said.
About the United States’ announcement of starting to impose visa restrictions on Bangladeshis, Fakhrul said that not only the United States but also the people of the country had sanctioned the government.
Asked to identify people who are committing injustice in the name of justice, Fakhrul said that they are agents of the government.
He said that four elections were held under the caretaker government, and no questions arose.
‘To ensure the votes of the people of the country are reflected in the results, Khaleda Zia implemented this system. But the Awami League came to power in 2008 and cancelled that system. Since then, there have been no votes in 2014 and 2018. The people of the country know what happened,’ he said.
‘We want an election, but it has to be under a non-partisan, neutral government. That is why she became the leader of the people of the country. She did not want to split any party. But this Awami League government is trying to split BNP,’ Fakhrul said.
Presided over by Dhaka city south unit BNP convener Abdus Salam, BNP standing committee members Mirza Abbas, Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, and Abdul Moyeen Khan, among others.