A special court in here today handed down five-year imprisonment to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia after convicting her in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case. A deep sense of uncertainty prevails among the common people centring the verdict. Stay connected with the Daily Kalerkantho to get updated.
The United Nations has called on all sides to maintain calm over the conviction of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia by a special court.
The UN made the request at the daily press briefing by the office of the spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Thursday.
BNP's demo underway
BNP enforced demonstration programme protesting the conviction of party chief Khaleda Zia is underway across the country peacefully with no hindrance to public life.
No unpleasant incident occurred till filing the report at 9am on Friday.
Our correspondents and staff reporters from across the country reported that the traffic situation is normal in the cities and district towns. Several numbers of vehicles were seen on the streets.
BNP to stage demo Friday, protest Saturday
The BNP has announced nationwide demonstration programme for Friday and protest for Saturday, condemning the conviction of party chief Khaleda Zia.
None can escape the justice of Allah: PM
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said none can escape the justice of Allah and Khaleda Zia faced the conviction as a result of her misdeeds.
She said: "She [Khaleda Zia] is responsible for the deaths of scores of innocent people in arson across the country. She killed hundreds of common people only to serve her political interest.
Four embassies issue security alert
United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australian embassies in Bangladesh issued security alert for their respective citizens over political crackdown centring the verdict against BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda and five others leaders.
Relatives, party members burst into tears
Emotional leaders and activists of the BNP broke into tears after hearing the news of party chief Khaleda Zia's conviction in Zia Orphanage graft case.
The leaders and activists, who were present at the court premises during the verdict, burst into tears and started chanting slogan against the authorities.
Stop detention of BNP supporters: HRW
Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged the government to stop the arbitrary arrests and detention of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) supporters and others.
The US-based human rights organisation published a report on its official website regarding the issue, soon after BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia was taken to jail after being convicted by a court.
History will not forgive the injustice: Fakhrul
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said a grave injustice has been done to BNP chief Khaleda Zia by convicting her in the "false graft case."
He said: "The history will not forgive such injustice."
The BNP leader made the remarks while expressing his reaction to the verdict.
Khaleda asks countrymen to have patience: Lawyer
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has urged the countrymen to have patience and trust while she was moving towards the jail, said her lawyers.
Her lawyers conveyed her message to her followers in the afternoon, soon after the conviction of the BNP chief.
The lawyers claimed that they accompanied the former prime minister to the jail gate. They said while entering the jail, Khaleda called upon the common people to have patience and trust on her.
AL man killed in N’ganj infighting over thwarting BNP
An activist of ruling Awami League was shot to death and at least five other activists received injuries in a clash between its two factions in Kanchan Bridge area of Rupganj upazila in Narayanganj district on Thursday.
The deceased was identified as Mohammad Sujon, son of Monu Miah, resident of Rupshi Gobindapur village of the Kayetpara union, according to UNB report.
Khaleda Zia sent to jail
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has landed in the old Central Jail in Nazimuddin Road area in the capital as a special court here today handed down five-year imprisonment to Khaleda Zia after convicting her in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
Khaleda gets five yrs in jail, Tarique and four others in 10 yrs
A Dhaka court here has pronounced the verdict of Zia Orphanage Trust graft case filed against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and some other BNP men after she reached the court in Old Dhaka amid clashes between supporters and police.
A special court in here today handed down five-year imprisonment to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia after convicting her in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
Khaleda’s son Tarique Rahman and four others have also been sentenced to 10 years in jail in the same case.
Frequent clashes in Dhaka, police use tear gas on BNP men
BNP Chariperson Khaleda Zia has reached court in Old Dhaka amid clashes between supporters and police when police used tear gas shells to douse tension at Moghbazar area.
The clashes were erupted in the area among BNP activists and Bangladesh Chhatra League men this noon while another clash was also broke out between police and BNP activists as Khaleda's motorcade reached Kakrail.
Khaleda Zia reaches court
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has reached at the Bakshibazar special court in the capital as the verdict of Zia Orphanage Trust graft case against her and her son Tarique Rahman is set to be delivered today.
Her motorcade has reached the Old Dhaka’s Bakshibazar area around 1:40pm, our correspondents have reported from the spot.
BNP men gathered at special court, chanting slogans
BNP leaders and activists have gathered at the special court in capital’s Bakshibazar area as BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has started towards the court around 11.45am from her Gulshan residence.
The party leaders and activists are chanting different slogans saying, “If Khaleda Zia is convicted in the graft case, the political situation will deteriorate to a disastrous level in the country.”
Our newsmen from the spot have reported.
Khaleda Zia has started for court
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has started towards the Bakshibazar special court as the verdict of Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case against Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman is set to be delivered on February 8 (today).
She has started towards the court around 11.45am from her Gulshan residence in the capital.
2 accused in the graft case enter court premises
Two accused in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case—Kazi Salimul Haque Kamal, and Sharfuddin Ahmed—have been taken to the court premises at Bakshibazar in the capital.
They were taken to the court in a prison van around 9am, our sources have confirmed.
Additional police in front of Khaleda’s office
Additional law enforcement agency members have been deployed in front of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s Gulshan political office this morning, sources say.
Private TV channel NEWS24, a sister concern of the Daily Kalerkantho, has also reported the news.
Khaleda Zia's advisor Ataur Rahman Dhali held
BNP Chairperson's advisor Ataur Rahman Dhali has been arrested from the party’s Nayapaltan headquarters in the capital anytime this morning.
Private TV channel NEWS24, a sister concern of the Daily Kalerkantho, has reported the news.
Read More on Khaleda here...I will not bow down as I did nothing wrong: Khaleda
City commuters suffer for lack of transport
The city dwellers are suffering badly for shortage of public transport and traffic restrictions imposed on some major streets ahead of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s verdict over graft case today.
Recalling loss of family members
Khaleda Zia on Wednesday turned emotional while talking about the loss of her husband, mother and younger son, and said that people are now her relatives.
“I lost my husband in my early life as Ziaur Rahman laid down his life for the country. I also lost my mother when I was there in jail,” she said in a choked voice at her press conference.
The BNP chief could not hold back tears while talking about the demise of her younger son Arafat Rahman Koko. “I’ve lost one of my sons when I was confined to my office…my other son is still receiving treatment abroad after being crippled trough repression.”
"BNP out to create unstable situation"
Health and Family Welfare Minister Mohammad Nasim yesterday said BNP-Jamaat is out to create an unstable situation in the country over the verdict in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case against BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia.
"The government has no role in judicial matters. We do not know what verdict will come in the case. If she is convicted, steps will be taken as per the jail code," he told a rally of Dhaka North City Jubo League at Uttara in the city.
Today’s SSC exams in due time
The Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and equivalent examinations slated for February 8 will be held as per the previous routine.
20 platoons BGB deployed in Dhaka
A total of 20 Platoons of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) have been deployed in the capital yesterday evening ahead of today's verdict against Khaleda Zia'g graft case.
BGB Public Relation Officer Mohsin Reza confirmed the news.
Khaleda for fair polls
Khaleda Zia called upon the government to hold the next general election in a free, fair and peaceful manner through holding talks.
Addressing the government, she said: "Please shun the path of threat and repression and hold talks."
"Police is ready"
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammad Jabed Patwary said police with professionalism and legal manner will deal all kind of attempt of anarchy created by any individual or any vested group centering the verdict of the graft case against BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia on Thursday.
Talking to the reporters at the media center of Police Headquarter in the city he, said: “Police will restrict any kind of attempt of creating chaos centering the verdict with an iron hand and will not tolerate it at any cost.”
"I will not bow down"
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia said she will not bow down her head as she didn't have any involvement with any kinds of corrupt and unlawful activities.
She said: "I didn't have any involvement with the corruption charges brought against me. I am ready to face any situation as I did nothing wrong."
Alleging that there is no justice in the country now, she further said: "I will be discharged if the court delivers a fair verdict. But, If I am convicted, this will cast a dark shadow on the history of Bangladesh."
Khaleda's press meet
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia hold a press conference yesterday as a Dhaka court was set to deliver its verdict against her in a graft case on Thursday.
She alleged that there is no justice in the country now as people are being harassed with false charges.
She said: "False charges have been brought against me and my family members and now the verdict on a false graft case will be delivered against me."
Presence during verdict
Khaleda Zia will be present at the special court during the pronouncement of the verdict on Zia Orphanage Trust graft case against her.
She is set to reach the special court of Judge Akhtaruzzam at 11 am at the Bokshibazar Alia Madrasha ground in the capital, BNP chairperson's lawyer Sanaullah Miah confirmed the information to the journalists.
Security measures have been beefed up across the country including the capital Dhaka centring the verdict of Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
As part of the security measures, close circuit cameras have been installed at different strategic points across the capital.
The law enforcers have also set up checkpoints at all the entry points of Dhaka to monitor the movement of Dhaka-bound people.
The newly appointed IGP has assured the city dwellers of adequate security.
The members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) have been deployed in six districts yesterday ahead of today’s verdict against Khaleda Zia.
BGB Public Relation Officer Mohsin Reza confirmed the news.
He said: "A total of 12 platoons of BGB have been deployed in six districts as per the request made by the local authorities. Of those, three have been deployed in Sirajganj, three in Bogra, three in Narayanganj, one in Noakhali, one in Laxmipur, and another in Chandpur."
Massive search operation
Apart from large-scale arrest, police have started searching vehicles and suspected people while entering the capital as BNP’s preparations are on to stage demonstrations in the city if their chairperson is “unfairly” convicted in a graft case.
A BNP senior leader said they asked their party followers to take position around the makeshift special court set up in Dhaka’s Bakshibazar area from Thursday morning, defying all the obstacles in order to stage a big demonstration if Khaleda is convicted in the Zia Orphanage Trust Graft case.
He, however, said they will prefer getting arrested than getting involved in any clash if the law enforcers obstruct them from registering their protest.
Ban on rallies, processions
Dhaka Metropolitan Police has slapped a ban on staging rallies and processions and carrying sharp weapons, explosives, and flammable materials in Dhaka on February 8, centering a verdict against Khaleda Zia.
The verdict of Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman will be delivered on the day.
The restriction will take effect at 4:00am and continue until further notice, said a press notice issued on Tuesday.
Tension runs high
Amid the government’s strong preparation to deal with any untoward situation and the ban on any gathering in the city on Thursday, BNP looks firm to stage a massive demonstration if their chairperson is ‘unfairly’ convicted, escalating tensions among city dwellers, including the SSC examinees and their guardians.
However, BNP is unlikely to go for any violent programme like hartal and blockade even if Khaleda Zia is convicted apparently to avoid violence and not to lose public sympathy ahead of the next general election.
At its national executive committee meeting on Saturday last, the party leaders and activists vowed to ensure the peaceful presence of huge number of their leaders and activists on the streets in Dhaka and other parts of the country to register their protest if any injustice is done to Khaleda Zia in the Zia Orphanage Trust Graft case.
Party senior leaders said they will carefully try to avoid any violence and they have asked their party men not to respond to any provocation by ruling party men and law enforcers.
Awami League senior leaders said they will remain alert on the day so that their main rival party activists cannot create any anarchic situation over the court verdict.
The law enforcers have arrested hundreds of leaders and activists of the BNP from across the country from last week.
The members of different law enforcing agencies are conducting the countrywide drives ahead of the verdict in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case against BNP chief Khaleda Zia.
The police have also picked up top BNP policymakers like Gayeswar Chandra Roy, Amanullah Aman and Nazimuddin Alam.
Besides, BNP Joint Secretary General Habib-un-Nabi Khan Sohel has reportedly been arrested from capital’s Malibagh area early Tuesday. However, police said they didn't pick him up.
Moreover, fresh cases filed against scores of BNP-Jamaat members across the country.
The latest mass arrest and detention started last month following an attack on a prison van in the High Court area by the leaders and activists of BNP.
The verdict of Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman will be delivered on February 8.
Judge Md Akhtaruzzaman of the Special Court-5 in Dhaka fixed the date on January 25 after the defence closed their arguments.
On December 19, the prosecution concluded their argument and sought the maximum punishment for Khaleda.
On July 3, 2008, the ACC filed Zia Orphanage Trust graft case with Ramna police accusing Khaleda, her elder son Tarique Rahman and four others of misappropriating over Tk 2.1 crore that was received as grants for orphans via a foreign bank.