A Dhaka court yesterday issued an arrest warrant for BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in connection with a case filed for making a “defamatory statement” on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Khaleda is now in jail after she was convicted in February last year in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case. She was also convicted in the Zia Charitable Trust graft case.
After taking cognisance of the charge, Metropolitan Magistrate Md Ziaur Rahman passed the order and directed the officer-in-charge of Gulshan police to submit a report on the execution of the arrest warrant by April 17.
Earlier on June 30 last year, Inspector Zafar Ali Biswas of Shahbagh police submitted a probe report on the issue, saying he found authentication of the allegation against Khaleda.
On January 25, 2017, AB Siddique, president of Bangladesh Jananetri Parishad, filed the defamation case with the Court of Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Abdullah Al Masud.
After hearing, the court asked the Shahbagh OC to submit a report after conducting an investigation.
In the complaint, Siddique alleged that Khaleda, at a programme on December 31, 2016, said Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman wanted to be the prime minister of undivided Pakistan rather than leading Bangladesh (the then East Pakistan) to independence.
She further alleged that the Awami League government, in the name of development, looted a large amount of money by delaying the work of flyovers and the Padma Bridge.
The BNP chief made the comments at the 38th founding anniversary of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh in Dhaka.
Such remarks had defamed the image of Bangabandhu as well as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the plaintiff said.
He appealed to the court to issue an arrest warrant against the BNP chief.
Another Dhaka court adjourned until April 15 the hearing on charge framing against Khaleda in connection with two cases filed for undermining the national flag and celebrating her fake birthday on every August 15.