BNP leaders and activists are upset that their party high-ups did not announce any tougher agitation for release of party chairperson Khaleda Zia after her bail hearing was adjourned until December 12.
Party sources said the BNP high command has decided to wait until December 12 as the Supreme Court fixed the next date for her bail hearing.“A movement is depending on December 12. Some small programmes will go on countrywide within this time,” BNP leader Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain told the daily sun on Friday.
He further said the party has planned to hold protest rallies in the capital and district towns on Sunday.
“It will depend on December 12 whether we will go for any harsher programme. We are waiting for the day,” BNP vice-chairman Mohammad Shahjahan said.
Earlier, the BNP central command had decided to take to streets with tougher programmes if party chairperson Khaleda Zia was not set free from jail after her bail hearing on December 5.
Shortly after the bail hearing, Mosharraf told the daily sun that December 5 is very much important for us as there will remain no option left for Khaleda’s bail if the Supreme Court does not give her bail. And there will remain no option left for us to wage movement.”
Some senior leaders said that a large number of party leaders and activists expected that the party will go for tougher programmes for a one-point demand for Khaleda Zia’s release from jail.“We are ready to take to streets whenever our party will announce programmes. But we are upset as no demonstration programme was announced after Thursday. It is uncertain whether our party can wage any strong movement at all,” a district-level leader told the daily sun.
Another BNP standing committee member said a group of senior leaders voiced against any strong movement right now.
BNP insiders said on the instruction of BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman, the party has planned to remain in the streets with programmes and will intensify it gradually to release Khaleda Zia.
An SC bench, headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, fixed the new date (Dec 12) as the BSMMU failed to submit a report on Khaleda’s health condition.
Pro-BNP lawyers created a chaos in a courtroom due to the adjournment of the bail hearing. BNP leaders and activists brought out protest processions in some parts of the capital. Later, the BNP standing committee took a decision to wait for a movement till December 12, party sources said. The embattled party has gone to the Appellate Division after the High Court rejected Khaleda’s bail petition on July 31 in a graft case in which she was sentenced to seven years in prison.
The BNP chief has been shifted to BSMMU for treatment from Dhaka Central Jail. Earlier, the government formed a board comprising doctors from the public hospital to examine Khaleda’s health.
Khaleda has been in prison since February last year after serving a total of 17 years’ imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage and Zia Charitable Trust corruption cases.