Turning down BNP’s demand to the government for the release of its chief Begum Khaleda Zia, Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Wednesday said they (BNP) are virtually showing disrespect to the law and the court as well by repeatedly raising demand for releasing Begum Zia.
“The government has no jurisdiction to release her (Khaleda Zia) from prison . . . the matter pertains to the court and hence it is only possible through judicial process,” he told a press briefing at Jatiya Press Club (JPC) after attending a discussion. TraumaLink, a community-based organization for road accident victims, organized the discussion titled ‘TraumaLink: The First Five Years of a Community Based First Responder System for Traffic Injury Victims in Bangladesh’.
Hasan said the BNP chief is in prison being convicted in a graft case and only the court can release her. And the government has no jurisdiction to release her, he added. About BNP’s seeking permission to hold a rally for the release of Begum Khaleda Zia, the minister said they (BNP) held a number of rallies previously.
But they always created anarchy in the name of movement and assaulted the common people and vandalized vehicles, said Hasan, also Awami League joint general secretary. Even, untoward incidents took place while they (BNP) held rallies for the release of Begum Khaleda Zia, the minister added.
He said the law enforcement agencies will take decision about giving permission to hold rally after considering their all previous activities. “The law enforcers will analyse their (BNP) motive,” he said. About another demand of BNP for holding city corporation polls afresh, Hasan urged BNP leaders, including its secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, to accept the reality.
The polls were held absolutely in a transparent manner and there was no good and transparent voting in the country’s history like the two city corporations’ polls of Dhaka, he added. The minister said “The Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) also worked as polling agents. None could give vote without fingerprint or identity card. There is no scope of vote rigging.”
On voters’ turnout in the Dhaka city polls, Hasan said the turnout was around 30 percent. “In our country, about 99.98 percent people have become voters. But, in the USA, only 60 percent people become voters among all eligible voters. Of them, 30 to 40 percent people cast their votes. In that perspective, the voters’ turnout in the Dhaka city polls was better,” he added.