BNP announces three-day programme for Khaleda’s release

Bangladesh Nationalist Party on Wednesday announced a three-day countrywide programme demanding the unconditional release of its chairperson Khaleda Zia, who is currently undergoing treatment at Evercare Hospital in the capital.

Party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir announced the fresh action programme at a press briefing at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office after a joint meeting of the party and its associate bodies.

As part of the programmes, he said that the party would hold a rally in front of its Nayapaltan central office at 3:00pm on Saturday, June 29.

Besides, the BNP leader said that their party would hold rallies in all metropolitan cities on July 1 and in all district headquarters on July 3.

‘We must intensify further the movement for Begum Khaleda Zia’s unconditional release. We want to take this movement to a final stage,’ he said.

Khaleda Zia was rushed to Evercare Hospital in an ambulance at about 3:30am on June 22 after suddenly falling ill at her Gulshan residence.

A team of specialist doctors, led by Professor Shahabuddin Talukder, successfully implanted a pacemaker in her chest the following day. She is now receiving treatment in a cabin with CCU facilities at the hospital.

On June 11, 2022, Khaleda Zia was diagnosed with three blockages in her heart, one of which was 95 per cent blocked and was treated with stent placement at that time.

Khaleda, a former prime minister, aged 79, has long battled various ailments, including liver cirrhosis, arthritis, diabetes, and issues related to the kidney, lung, heart, and eyes.

Since her conditional release from jail in 2020, the BNP chief has been receiving treatment frequently at the hospital under a medical board headed by cardiologist Professor Shahabuddin Talukder.

Khaleda was sent to Old Dhaka Jail after a lower court sentenced her to five years’ imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case on February 8, 2018. Later, she was found guilty in another corruption case the same year.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, the government temporarily freed Khaleda Zia from jail through an executive order suspending her sentence on March 25, 2020, with the condition that she stay in her Gulshan house and not leave the country. That has since been extended multiple times to keep her out of jail.

Khaleda’s doctors have been recommending sending her abroad since she was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis in November 2021.

On October 26 last year, three US specialist doctors completed the hepatic procedure known as transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS procedure) to stop water accretion in Khaleda Zia’s stomach and chest, and bleeding in her liver.

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