Voicing concern over Khaleda Zia’s ‘sudden illness’ in jail, BNP on Friday demanded the government immediately release her for her better medical treatment either at home or abroad.
“We’re concerned over her health condition. So, we demand the government allow her personal physicians to examine her health condition and immediately free her from jail for ensuring better treatment,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
He came up with the remarks at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan Central office.
Replying to a question, he said they will take steps for ensuring better treatment for Khaleda either at home or abroad as per her wish after her release from jail.
On Thursday, Fakhrul’s a scheduled meeting with Khaleda was postponed as she suddenly fell sick in Nazimuddin Road old central jail.
Fakhrul said the jail authorities informed Khaleda’s personal secretary Abdus Sattar on Wednesday that the BNP chief fell sick. “Unfortunately, we still don’t know anything, especially about her illness. We’ve also got any explanation neither from the government nor from the jail authorities how they’re examining her health and what steps they’ve taken for her treatment.”
He said the environment inside the abandoned old central jail is not appropriate for their chairperson’s stay. “We fear that her health condition is deteriorating. We’re also not sure whether the food she has been served is properly tested or not.”
The BNP leader said their party wants the government to allow Khaleda’s personal physicians to examine her health so that her treatment can be ensured as per their suggestions.
“The best way is to free her granting her bail as he deserves it, and then taking steps for sending her abroad for better treatment as she had earlier received all treatments abroad. The follow-up of her treatment is now very crucial,” Fakhrul said.
But, he later backed off his remark of sending Khaleda abroad.
Clarifying the remark, Fakhrul said, “We want her unconditional release so that we can take proper steps for her better treatment whether at home or abroad. She’ll decide where she wants to receive treatment.”
The BNP leader, however, said they do not want Khaleda to be freed on parole since she is entitled to get bail.
He also said their chairperson is not safe inside the jail under the current government’s rule as it has long been trying to eliminate her from politics. “We can’t take her illness in jail lightly. We fear the government like other autocrats can take steps to remove its main opponent in jail.”
BNP standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Moudud Ahmed, Nazrul Islam Khan, Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury and senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi were present at the press conference.
On February 8 last, a special court here sentenced Khaleda to five years’ rigorous imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
Khaleda, a 73-year-old former prime minister, was taken to the old central jail minutes after the verdict had been delivered.