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BNP for reorganising party to free Khaleda from jail
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia taken to the court at the Old Central Jail in the Niko graft case

BNP for reorganising party to free Khaleda from jail

Dhaka, Feb 8 – BNP senior leaders on Friday laid emphasis on the rehabilitation of party’s affected leaders and activists to launch a strong movement to free their chairperson Khaleda Zia through reorganising the party.
Speaking at a protest rally marking the 1st anniversary of Khaleda’s jailing, they also regretted that they could not ensure Khaleda’s release using the strength of the huge number of party activists across the country.
“We must make a turnaround very soon by strengthening the organisation, uniting leaders and activists and overcoming the weakness of the party and its associate bodies,” said BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain.
He further said, “It won’t be possible to restore democracy without freeing our leader Khaleda Zia. That’s why we need to wage a united movement. We expect we’ll be able to stage a comeback in an organised way.”
BNP arranged the programme at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh marking the first anniversary of the jailing of Khaleda.
On February 8, 2018, Khaleda was sent to Old Dhaka Central Jail after a lower court sentenced her to five years’ imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
Mosharraf said many people are saying BNP leaders and activists have got demoralised over the election results. “I would like to say they’re aggrieved, but not disappointed as they couldn’t cast their votes.“
Mentioning that Awami League has been in power by deceiving people through holding an unusual election on December 29 instead of December 30, he said this regime is not pro-people one and it will not be able to stay in power for a long time. “I also believe the government can’t keep our leader Khaleda Zia in jail for many more days,” he added.
The BNP leader also said Awami League cannot now understand how it got defeated morally to people in the 11th parliamentary elections.
Another BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed said it will not be possible to free Khaleda Zia through a legal process due to the government’s control on and interference in the lower court. “There’s no alternative for us to waging a movement if you (BNP rank and file) want to have Khaleda Zia released from jail,” he said.
To wage a movement, Moudud said, they need to first strengthen the party’s organisational strength by rehabilitating those BNP leaders who underwent imprisonment, were implicated in false cases and subjected to repression, suppression and harassment. “We must stand by them so that they can gain confidence coming out of frustration.”
He said it is now the duty of the party leaders who contested the election from 300 constituencies to rehabilitate the party’s affected leaders and activists to reorganise the party from the grassroots.
The BNP leader said those sacrificed a lot for the party, played a role in the movement for Khaleda’s release and those were subjected to repression should be brought to the frontline. “Thousands of our leaders and activists are ready for a movement, but those who are in the leadership couldn’t be successful by using their strength,” he observed.
“Even, the thought of jailing of our leaders for a year brings tears to our eyes. We feel ashamed that we couldn’t free her despite having a vast public support for a big party like BNP,” Moudud bemoaned.
He said a political vacuum has been created as the government turned Bangladesh into an opposition-less country. “So, we’ll have to reorganise the party by rehabilitating our leaders and activists so that we can ensure the fall of this regime through a movement.”
BNP standing committee member Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan said Khaleda has been kept in jail in a political case. “It won’t be possible to face a political case through a legal process without a street movement. Let’s all of the BNP leaders and activists take a vow to free Khaleda Zia through a movement.”
Another party standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan said it is a serious failure of BNP leaders that they could not ensure their chairperson’s release though one year has elapsed. “Shouldering the responsibility of the failure, we’ll have to move forward and wage a strong movement to free her from jail,” he added. – UNB

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