BNP leaders were “denied permission” to meet party Chairperson Khaleda Zia in jail yesterday.
Party's Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir along with standing committee members Mirza Abbas and Nazrul Islam Khan went to the old Central Jail on Nazimuddin Road around 3:00pm to meet Khaleda, but could not.
“We have a prior permission to meet Khaleda Zia, but the jail authorities didn't allow us today,” Fakhrul told reporters in front of the jail gate.
The authorities did not give them permission, saying that Inspector General of Prisons Brig Gen Syed Iftekhar Uddin went to Kashimpur jail in Gazipur, he said.
After the BNP leaders left the jail gate, the authorities told journalists that the BNP leaders could meet Khaleda on Sunday and no permission would be needed for that.
On March 29, Fakhrul met Khaleda inside the jail.
On February 8, the BNP chief landed in jail after a special court in Dhaka sentenced her to five years' rigorous imprisonment in Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case.
Earlier at a programme yesterday, Fakhrul again underscored the need for a national consensus to hold the next general election under a non-party neutral administration.
“We want the next general election to be held under a neutral government. We want restoration of democracy. We will have to reach a national consensus for this purpose.”
Fakhrul was addressing a programme organised by Association of Engineers' Bangladesh at the National Press Club demanding immediate release of Khaleda and holding of the next general polls under a non-party caretaker government.
He said the next general election would not be acceptable and impartial if it was not held under a non-partisan caretaker government.
About the quota reform movement, the BNP leader said protest of students and jobseekers would go in vain if they failed to wage an organised movement for the sake of democracy.
On the prime minister's announcement of abolishing quota system in the public service, Fakhrul said, “It is a constitutional matter. The prime minister cannot say like this as it is not within her jurisdiction."
He also blasted the ruling Awami League, alleging that it destroyed the country's democratic and financial institutions by indulging in all-out corruption.
In the current political situation, BNP leaders and activists would have to go to the people for mobilising public support against the misdeed and misrule of the AL-led government, he said.
“We must wage a mass upsurge in a democratic and peaceful manner to free the country from the grip of the government for establishing a pro-people administration," said the BNP leader.
Alleging that Khaleda is not getting proper treatment, Fakhrul voiced concern over her condition.
He also alleged that the government had sent the BNP chief to prison by convicting her in a false and fabricated case as part of its evil design. “We must launch a movement to free her from jail," he said.