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‘Will consider Khaleda’s parole if she applies’

Decision on seeking parole later, says Fakhrul

WT24 Desk

The government will consider releasing BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on parole if she files an application and cites specific reasons, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said Saturday, Agencies report.

“We haven’t received any request for parole so far,” he told reporters after inaugurating a naval police station at Chikajani in Dewanganj upazila.

Parole is a conditional release of an inmate before the completion of the sentence.

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said they will discuss the matter at their party forum. “A decision on applying for parole will be taken later,” he told UNB.

Khaleda, a former prime minister, has been in jail since February 8 last year when she was convicted of corruption. She was later found guilty in another corruption case later.

Her release remains the BNP’s main demand. The party has been accusing the government of neglecting her treatment and demanding that she be moved to a specialised hospital.

Khaleda was shifted to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) on April 1. BSMMU Director Brig Gen Dr AK Mahbubul Hoque said she had been suffering from severe pain in the joints of her hands and legs.

He said Khaleda was very weak as she could not take food or sleep well. Her sugar level was also high.

But on Thursday, Hoque said Khaleda’s condition had improved significantly and she was taking medicines prescribed by the five-member medical board formed by the government.

Fakhrul criticised taking Khaleda to BSMMU despite their repeated requests to allow her treatment at a specialised hospital. He said he does not believe that the party chief will get proper treatment at the state-controlled hospital.

“She’s very sick. Her condition deteriorated so much that she can’t walk and eat anything properly. She’s been subjected to repression and it’s inhumane,” he said.

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