Dhaka, April 22 – The BNP on Sunday requested Home Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Khan to ensure better treatment of party’s ailing chairperson Khaleda Zia at United Hospital, a private hospital in the city.
Two senior BNP leaders Nazrul Islam Khan and Maj (Retd) Hafizuddin Ahmed made the request during a meeting with the minister at his office.
After the meeting, the Home Minister said the government would take decision about the further treatment of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia outside the jail after consultation with expert doctors.
He however said the decision would be made as per the jail code and if anything is needed to be done beyond the jail code, steps would be taken in consultation with doctors.
The Minister further said the two BNP leaders came to him for providing treatment to the BNP chairperson at United Hospital and he assured them doing everything for her treatment.
Replying to a question as to the former premier would be taken abroad, he said she had not gone abroad frequently for treatment before. “She had received treatment in the country. Our expert doctors are providing treatment to her…We’re taking necessary steps according to their advice,” he added.
The Minister said Khaleda, who has been suffering from various diseases, including diabetic, is enjoying all the facilities under the jail code. Her personal physicians also examined her health condition and suggested various medical tests, including MRI.
As Khaleda has artificial metal in her body a special kind of MRI machine is needed for conducting the test and this machine is available at United Hospital. That’s why the BNP leaders requested to take Khaleda to the hospital, said the minister.
Asked whether the government would permission to Sramik Dal to hold its planned rally at Suhrawardy on April 25 and May 1, the minister said he asked the leaders to submit an application to the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) for permission.
Talking to reporters, BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan said they found the home minister positive about their demand.
“Khaleda Zia is seriously sick in jail as she even can’t walk. So, we’ve requested the home minister to take immediate steps for her better treatment and proper medical tests,” he said.
He said the home minister’s statements seem positive in this regard. He said the IG (prisons) also joined the meeting, and they discussed everything in front of him.
The BNP leader said their chairperson has confidence in doctors and medical tests of the United Hospital. That’s why we told the home minister to take her to the private hospital.
He said the Home Minister also gave his consent about ensuring proper treatment of Khaleda at a better place. “We’ll now wait to see what steps the IG (prisons) takes. We hope they will take steps for our leaders’ health check-up and treatment at the United Hospital.”
Nazrul said their chairperson requires physiotherapy for some consecutive days for her knee pain. “But it’s not possible in jail… if any wrong physiotherapy is given by nurses in jail, it may seriously affect her health.”
Earlier, Nazrul together with party vice chairman Hafizuddin Ahmed went to the home minister’s secretariat office around 11:30am and had over a half-an-hour meeting.
BNP delegation met the home minister following some BNP leaders and Khaleda’s relatives were denied visiting her in jail respectively on Thursday and Friday.
On 8 February, Khaleda was sent to Nazimuddin Road Old Central Jail after a special court sentenced her to five years’ rigorous imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
Amid the report of Khaleda’s illness, the government formed a medical team comprising four professors of Dhaka Medical College Hospital early this month.
On 7 April, the BNP chief was taken to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University for some medical tests as per the prescription of the medical team.
Meanwhile, the BNP yesterday announced an eight-day programme inclduing formation of human chain at city and district levels on April 25 demanding the release of chairperson Khaleda Zia and on the occasion of May Day. The party will pray on Friday seeking early recovery of Khaleda Zia in mosques across the country.
BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi announced the programme at a press conference at party central office.
As part of the programme,Dhaka city (North) unit of BNP held a protest rally yesterday, Dhaka city (South) unity of BNP hold a rally today.
Besides, Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal will hold a rally on April 26, Juba Dal on April 28 and Secchasebok Dal on April 29.
Jatyatabadi Sramik Dal will hold May Day rally at Suhrawardy Udyan on May 1.
In another development, speaking at the protest rally at Merul Badda, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir also demanded the government to provide treatment to chairperson Khaleda Zia at United Hospital. – Staff Reporter