Zia Orphanage graft verdict: Khaleda on way to Sylhet to offer prayers

Monday, 5 February 2018

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia is on her way to Sylhet to offer prayers at the shrines of Hazrat Shahjalal (R) and Hazrat Shah Paran (R) ahead of the verdict in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.

Accompanied by the members of the BNP Standing Committee and other senior leaders of the party, the BNP chief left her Gulshan residence for Sylhet by road around 9:15am. This is Khaleda's first trip to the district in five years.

No rallies have been organised for the trip and the group is scheduled to head back to Dhaka on Monday night, according to a bdnews24 report.

“Khaleda Zia will pray at the shrines of the two great Sufi Sadhaks after reaching Sylhet this afternoon,” said BNP Standing Committee Member Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury. “This trip is solely for this purpose.”

“Former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia is not going as part of her political campaign,” he said in response to a question. “One cannot campaign a year before the election. How can one campaign when there is no level playing field?”

Amir Khosru claims the ruling party and its associates have already begun campaigning.

The Special Court-5 in Dhaka on Thursday last fixed February 8 to deliver its verdict in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case filed against Khaleda and five others, reports UNB.

The BNP Chairperson faces up to life in prison if found guilty in the graft case. The verdict could also restrict her participation in the coming elections.

Khaleda met with over 400 members of the BNP Executive Committee in Dhaka on Saturday over the issue. She told the party’s activist to have courage and respond in a united manner ‘to any danger’.

Party activists at the meeting said the BNP has to announce protests if the verdict goes against Khaleda. The party’s central leaders must be involved in the protests, they said.

The BNP chief met with members of the BNP Standing Committee on Saturday.