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KHALEDA’S CONFINEMENT

Opposition MPs seek clarification from speaker

Staff Correspondent

Senior leaders of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party come out after meeting the speaker of parliament Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury at her office in Dhaka on Thursday. — New Age photoSenior leaders of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party come out after meeting the speaker of parliament Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury at her office in Dhaka on Thursday. — New Age photo

Opposition lawmakers on Thursday sought clarification from speaker Shirin Sharmin Choudhury whether the leader of the opposition, Khaleda Zia, was under house arrest or not and they would meet president Abdul Hamid today to have his intervention into the matter.
A delegation of Bangladesh Nationalist Party lawmakers led by opposition chief whip Zainul Abdin Farroque met the speaker and submitted a memorandum seeking explanation on keeping the opposition leader confined for the last few days.
Shirin Sharmin, after the meeting, told reporters that she would talk to the home ministry about the BNP lawmakers’ inquiry whether the opposition leader was under house arrest or not.
After meeting with the speaker, Zainul said they submitted a memorandum to the speaker seeking an explanation why the opposition leader was kept confined for past few days and whether the government kept her under ‘house arrest’ or ‘solitary confinement’.
‘We informed the speaker that the opposition leader was kept confined in her house in Gulshan since she had announced the march for democracy programme and it was widely circulated in local and international media. Even she was not being allowed to meet senior leaders of the party or go to her office,’ Zainul said.
He also said the opposition leader’s amenities including protocol car and security supports were also withdrawn.
‘The 9th parliament is still in place and Khaleda Zia is still holding the office of the leader of the opposition. But her house is cordoned off by police and Rapid Action Battalion and the entrance to the house has been blocked by putting sand-laden trucks across the street on both ends of the road. Even the media have been barred to enter the house. In such a situation, we sought clarification from the speaker since she is the guardian of parliament,’ he said.
He said people of the country were demanding cancellation of the single-party election and holding election under a neutral, non-partisan government but the government was out to hold the farcical election paying no heed to people’s demand using muscle-power.
Zainul said the speaker received their memorandum and assured them of discussing with home ministry over the issue and give them a feedback.
BNP MPs M Harunur Rashid, ABM Ashrafuddin Nizan, Nazimuddin Ahmed, Rehana Aktar Ranu, Syeda Ashifa Ashrafi Papia, Nilofar Chowdhury Moni and Rasheda Begum Hira were also on the delegation.
Zainul told New Age that the opposition MPs had sought an appointment with the president of the republic, Abdul Hamid, and the Bangabhaban has set the time at 4:00pm on Friday for a nine-member delegation.




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Opposition MPs seek clarification from speaker

Senior leaders of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party come out after meeting the speaker of parliament Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury at her office in Dhaka on Thursday. — New Age photo
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