BNP leaders have urged Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan to transfer party chief Khaleda Zia to United Hospital from prison for better treatment.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the party had made its appeal during a meeting with the home minister at his office on Sunday.
“We have urged him to transfer our country leader [Khaleda Zia] to a specialised hospital as soon as possible. We have suggested United Hospital as she has always preferred it.”
Khan agreed to make a decision on the matter after a discussion with the relevant secretaries and other officials, including the inspector general, and promised to take suggestions from the specialist physicians, Fakhrul said.
The minister did not confirm any specific time for the decisions but said he will arrange the meetings on Sunday.
The meeting was held from 3pm to 3:50pm on the fourth floor office of the home minister’s office at the Secretariat. Brig General Syed Iftekhar Uddin was seen entering the room during their meeting.
BNP Standing Committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Jamiruddin Sarkar, Rafiqul Islam Mia, Mirza Abbas, Abdul Moeen Khan, and Nazrul Islam Khan accompanied Fakhrul.
Home Minister Khan made no statement regarding the meeting.
The BNP chairperson has been serving a five-year sentence in jail in Old Dhaka since on Feb 8 when she was convicted in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
The government has set up a special court inside the jailhouse to end the hearing on the Zia Welfare Trust graft case as Khaleda Zia has been unable to appear in court for several months due to her ‘illness’.
Khaleda appeared in the special court in a wheelchair last week and told the court that she was ‘sick’.
“You can punish me as long as you want, but I cannot come here repeatedly in this condition,” the former prime minister said to the judge.
The BNP leadership has denounced the makeshift court as a violation of the constitution and said the government has forced her to appear in court.
A medical board had been formed to oversee Khaleda’s health after she fell ill near the start of April. The board said medical tests indicated that the illness was not serious.
Khaleda was taken to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital for an X-ray and blood tests on Apr 7. The BNP says it does not trust the medical board’s diagnosis.
The BNP delegation had previously met the home minister twice on Mar 27 and Apr 23 to discuss the medical treatment of Khaleda.
Lawywers want Chief Justice’s intervention
Senior members of BNP chief Khaleda Zia’s legal team have met with the chief justice to object to the handling of the Zia Welfare Trust graft case against her in a makeshift court on the prison premises and the continuation of the trial ‘despite her illness’.
A written petition has been submitted to the chief justice calling for an investigation into those who ‘overstep the bounds of the judiciary’ and urging legal action against them.
A petition has also been sent to the High Court calling for it to instruct the BNP chief, who is currently serving a five-year sentence over another graft case, to be transferred to a specialised hospital for her medical care.
The petition was raised before the High Court bench of Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice Ahmed Sohel on Saturday, but a hearing was not held.
“We filed a petition seeking a transfer of Khaleda Zia to a specialised hospital for treatment,” said lawyer Mahbub Uddin Khokon. “The petition may come up on tomorrow’s docket.” – News Desk