Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Monday warned the government of "dire consequences" if ailing party chairperson and ex-prime minister Khaleda Zia’s life falls at risk for lack of proper treatment abroad.
“We would like to make it clear that if there is any threat to the life of our leader Begum Khaleda Zia, the people of this country will never forgive this despicable looter government,” Fakhrul said.
Speaking at a rally, the BNP leader said the people are not so stupid that they fail to understand the government has sent its main opponent Khaleda Zia to jail to remove her from politics and secure power.
He alleged the government pushed the BNP chief near death by deliberately keeping her incarcerated in an uninhabitable room while she was in prison.
As part of the party’s countrywide programme, BNP’s Dhaka south and north city units arranged the rally in front of its Nayapaltan central office demanding that the government allow Khaleda Zia to go abroad for advanced treatment, UNB reports.
The party will also observe a token hunger strike across the country, including in Dhaka, on September 14 to mount pressure on the government to let Khaleda go abroad.
Earlier in the day, the medical board formed at Evercare Hospital for Khaleda’s treatment recommended that she be urgently sent to a multidisciplinary centre abroad, as there are now no treatment options available for her in Bangladesh.
The board also said the 78-year-old former prime minister’s life is at risk because of a lack of proper treatment to stop water accretion in her stomach and chest, internal bleeding and infections caused by her liver cirrhosis problem.
Fakhrul said when the medical board said Khaleda was at the crossroads of life and death, the government said there was no scope to send her abroad out of political vengeance.
The BNP leader said Awami League has now become a fascist organisation that represents the bureaucrats and law enforcers who are indulging in repression and some businessmen who are indulging in plundering.
He said Awami League was not satisfied by convicting Khaleda on false charges, as it is now jailing and arresting the BNP leaders who are waging the street movement.
Fakhrul strongly protested a lower court verdict sentencing 15 BNP leaders and activists, including its vice chairman and former lawmaker Alhaj Md Shahjahan and chairperson’s adviser Habibur Rahman Habib, in a ‘false’ sabotage case filed around eight years back in Dhaka.
He warned that it would not be possible to resist opposition leaders and activists by jailing and repressing them.
“They thought that the BNP would no longer exist after jailing our leader Khaleda Zia. But BNP has become stronger and woke up to ensure the government’s fall through a movement,” the BNP leader said.
He alleged that the government has already sentenced many BNP leaders, including standing committee member Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku and Dhaka North City unit party convener Amanullah Aman, to remove them from politics ahead of the national election.
“We will not stop unless we remove this regime from power and we’ll definitely defeat this regime,” Fakhrul said.
He said the government is going through serious ordeals due to hikes in prices of daily essentials while inflation is growing amid the dollar crisis.
“The way the reserves are decreasing, there will be no more money to import goods after a few days…the government still does not understand what consequences await. Don't forget history. No one could run the country in this way,” Fakhrul observed.
BNP Standing Committee member Mirza Abbas said, Khaleda Zia's release cannot be expected from this government. The Prime Minister's statement about a death traveler proves how uncivilized they are.
Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, another member of the party's standing committee, said in the rally, You (Prime Minister) will not allow anyone to get treatment, you will not get treatment in Bangladesh either.No one will leave the field without the fall of Sheikh Hasina. This government will not fall with meetings. Everyone get prepares for a strict programs.