Dhaka, September 06: Pointing at BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina questioned on Thursday how a citizen of the country can make an audacious remark that he or she will not appear before the court anymore.“Standing before the court, Khaleda Zia said she won’t appear before the court anymore. What type of remark it is? Can any citizen who abides by the constitution and law of the land make such an audacious remark? Does such a remark fit her mouth?” she said.
Sheikh Hasina, also the President of Awami League, said this while presiding over a meeting of the AL Central Working Committee (ALCWC) at her official residence Ganobhaban in the city.
She said if Khaleda Zia feels she is innocent she must appear before the court.
Mentioning that Khaleda Zia did not appear before the court even for a single time in the last six months in connection with the Zia charitable trust case, Hasina said she did not do so because she has a ‘guilty mind’.
“She (Khaleda) wants to avoid the trial and bypass it as she has a guilty mind…she has an escapist mindset as she’s guilty…this is the reality,” said the Prime Minister said.
Hasina said when the caretaker government filed cases, even of murder, against her (Hasina) and issued an arrest warrant, she (Hasina) cut her stay in the USA short and returned home taking the challenge to face the case as she knew that she was innocent.
Refuting BNP leaders’ allegation of holding a camera trial of Khaleda in the makeshift court in Old Dhaka central jail, the Prime Minister said the trial is being held in an open court where people have free access to it.
“How could it be a camera trial when the door of the court remains open? They (BNP leaders) are bringing such an allegation only to confuse people.”
She further said, “I would like to clearly tell the nation it’s not a camera trial.”
Hasina also said the court was set up in the jail as BNP leaders were repeatedly talking about her security. “There’s nothing new in it.”
Mentioning that such a court can be set up with a gazette notification, she said the trial of Colonel Taher was held in a court in jail during the Ziaur Rahman’s regime. The trial of BDR mutiny cases were also held in the field of the jail.
Mentioning that the BNP chief was allowed to keep her maidservant Fatema inside the jail with her, the Prime Minister questioned whether the constitution or the law permit a convicted person to take her domestic help with her in the jail. “Is there any such example anywhere in the world? I would like to have an answer from BNP leaders to this question.”
She also warned that the government will withdraw the maidservant if the BNP leaders fail to come with a reasonable answer justifying Fatema’s stay in the jail with Khaleda. “Because, no one has the right to make an innocent person languish in jail. This is also a crime.”
She said BNP leaders and lawyers are making spurious and baseless allegations of holding camera trial as they do not have enough evidence to defend Khaleda in the case.
She said an orthopedic bed was provided to Khaleda Zia in the jail and she gets bottled drinking water and even high quality water in her bathroom. “But, Khaleda Zia had kept HM Ershad, Raushon Ershad and a former air chief on the floor of the jail during the BNP regime.”
The Prime Minister criticised the media for giving good treatment to Khaleda Zia’s remark that she will not appear before the court though the remark was in violation of the law as she is a convicted person. “Is encouraging criminals the job of the media?”
Referring to possible formation of a new political alliance by Dr Kamal Hossain and Prof Badrudduza Chowdhury, the Prime Minister welcomed the move.
“An alliance is in the offing with our so-called big shots. This is very good. It should be formed. There should be an alternative to Awami League,” she said.
Hasina hoped that they will not make Jamaat-Shibir and anti-liberation force as their alliance partners.
Pointing at Dr Kamal Hossain, she, however, questioned how the person who is the writer of the Constitution of Bangladesh can talk about the formation of the government going beyond the constitution.
She said her government would not allow anybody to bring crocodiles through digging canals.
In her speech, the Prime Minister said Bangladesh advanced towards prosperity as the Awami League has been in power for two consecutive terms.