Undermining flag: Court issues arrest warrant against Khaleda

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Khaleda in court for hearing on two graft cases
Khaleda in court for hearing on two graft cases

A Dhaka court has issued arrest warrant against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in a case filed over undermining the country’s map and national flag.

Metropolitan Magistrate Nur Nabi passed the order on Thursday as Khaleda Zia failed to appear before the court even though the court asked her repeatedly to attend today’s hearing.

The court also directed the officer-in-charge of Gulshan Police Station to submit a report by November 12 on execution of the arrest warrant.

Earlier, on September 17, the same court warned Khaleda of arrest warrant if she fails to appear before it today after AB Siddique, president of Bangladesh Jananetri Parishad, a pro-Awami League organisation, submitted a petition seeking an arrest warrant for Khaleda.

On March 22, the same court issued a summon against Khaleda Zia asking her to appear before the court on September 12. But she did not comply with the court order.

On November 3, 2016, the complainant filed the case with Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court against Khaleda Zia and her late husband Ziaur Rahman, also a former president, on the aforesaid charges.

Recording statement of the complainant, Magistrate Raihanul Islam directed the officer-in-charge (OC) of Tejgaon police station to investigate the matter.

On February 25, Tejgaon OC ABM Moshiur Rahman submitted a probe report to court mentioning that he found the allegations to be true.

But the OC dropped Ziaur Rahman’s name from the case as he was dead.

According to the case, Ziaur Rahman on August 15, 1975, had taken over as the country’s president after the killing of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with most of his family members.

Ziaur Rahman also threatened Sheikh Hasina, now prime minister, and confined her after her arrival in the country from abroad on May 17, 1981, the case statement said.

Khaleda Zia had formed a coalition government with Jamaat-e-Islami in 2001.

She appointed Jamaat leaders Motiur Rahman Nazami and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid as ministers and handed over the map and the national flag of independent Bangladesh to them even though they fought against the country during the country’s Liberation War in 1971, the complainant said.

The move was tantamount to undermining Bangladesh’s map and the national flag, he alleged.

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