Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has advised BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia to appear in court ‘decently’, report agencies.
“Follow the law. An arrest warrant has been issued against you. I hope you will surrender to the court decently,” the prime minister said on Thursday. She was referring to Khaleda, after giving away grants and savings certificates to the victims of violence during the BNP-led alliance’s blockade. On Feb 25, a court issued arrest warrant for the BNP chief in the Zia Orphanage Trust and Zia Charitable Trust corruption cases. On Mar 4, the day of hearing, Khaleda failed to appear before the court, and the court upheld the warrant.
“The moment the warrant reaches the Gulshan Police Station, police will move to arrest Khaleda,” Hasina had said in reply to a question raised in Parliament on Wednesday. On Thursday, at the PM’s Office, the victims of petrol bomb attack and their families received family savings certificates worth Tk 1 million each. One hundred and ninety-nine owners of 270 damaged vehicles also received grants from the prime minister. A total of Tk 54,208,000 was given as grants. The 199 owners received a total of Tk 15,708,000.
The BNP-Jamaat alliance’s blockade that has been on for more than two months has caused 119 deaths, most due to petrol bomb attacks. Hundreds more have been injured. During this time, six launches have been set on fire and rail tracks have been damaged about 34 times.
After handing over the aid, the prime minister said many families were losing their members due to the violence unleashed by the BNP-led coalition’s blockade. “How can a human being kill another? What sort of movement is that? People’s lives have been turned into hell. Why is there such pressure on ordinary people?” Saying that Khaleda would suffer due to ‘people’s curse’, Hasina added, “The government would do what is needed to be done according to the law. “I would tell Khaleda Zia ‘stop such nuisance.’ If it goes on, she (Khaleda) would not be able to face the people.”
The prime minister told the victims, “I cannot fully compensate your loss. But I am trying my best.” Criticising the violence in the name of a political movement, she said, “Just as the world began to notice our progress, she had to start this violence.” Commenting on Khaleda’s stay at her Gulshan office instead of going back home, Hasina said, “I don’t understand what fun is there in her office. She, from there, and her son (Tarique Rahman) from England, have been sending orders. And their cadres are implementing them.”
Regarding the BNP’s call for a general strike during the SSC exams, Hasina said, “The BNP called for general strikes right on the day the exams started. “I cannot allow violence on young children. That’s why we are taking tests on Fridays and Saturdays. Otherwise, the exams would have ended by now.” About people’s concern about acts of violence, she said, “The good news is people are becoming more concerned. They are helping to catch them (the troublemakers). “People should rise. They should protest. People’s power is the biggest power.”