Dhaka, 16 Feb, Abnews: The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has decided to hold a public rally in the city on 22 February demanding the release of its chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail.
“We have decided to hold the rally either at Suhrawardy Udyan or in front of the Naya Paltan central office on 22 February,” said party senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
The senior joint secretary said this at a press briefing at the BNP's Naya Paltan central office in Dhaka on Friday, reports UNB.
Rizvi said they have already sought permission from the authorities concerned for arranging the programme.
Party's countrywide mass signature collection drive demanding the release of Khaleda Zia will formally begin at 11:00am at Naya Paltan central office on Saturday, he said.
On Feb 8, a Dhaka court sentenced BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia to five years of rigorous imprisonment and fines her Tk 2 crore for financial irregularities in the Zia Orphanage Trust.
The makeshift court delivered the verdict amid tight security. It also awarded 10 years of imprisonment to five others including her son Tarique Rahman.
Khaleda was present in the court at the time of pronouncing the verdict.
The court also fined Tk 2.10 crore each in the politically significant case ahead of the parliamentary election.
After Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad, Khaleda is the second head of the government convicted in a graft case.
On 25 January, the court fixed 8 February to announce the verdict in the Zia Orphanage Trust Graft case.
The Anti-Corruption Commission filed the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case on July 3, 2008 with Ramna Police Station accusing Khaleda, her eldest son Tarique Rahman, now living in the UK, and four others of misappropriating over 2.10 crore that came as grants from a foreign bank for orphans.
Four other accused are former BNP MP Salimul Haq Kamal and businessman Sharfuddin Ahmed, former principal secretary Kamal Uddin Siddique and Mominur Rahman, nephew of late President Ziaur Rahman.Kamal Uddin Siddique and Mominur Rahman have long been absconding.