A Dhaka court yesterday issued arrest warrants for BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and party's senior leader Goyeshwar Chandra Roy in a case filed in connection with their derogatory comments on the Liberation War martyrs.
On receipt of the probe report submitted by Sub-Inspector Zafar Ali of Shahbagh Police Station, Metropolitan Magistrate Abu Sayeed passed the order directing police to submit by August 7 the report on execution of the arrest warrants.
In the report submitted on July 1, Zafar said the charges brought against the two about the remarks were found to be true.
In January 2016, AB Siddique, president of Bangladesh Jananetri Parishad, a pro-Awami League organisation, filed the case against the two for their insulting remarks on the Liberation War martyrs.
Taking cognizance of the allegation, another court directed the officer-in-charge of Shahbagh Police Station to investigate the matter and submit a report.
On December 21 in 2015, Khaleda, in her first public address in more than a year, said, “There are controversies over how many were martyred in the Liberation War.”
Two days later, a Supreme Court lawyer served a legal notice on Khaleda, asking her to apologise to the nation within seven days or face legal consequences for her comments.
Khaleda's comments drew widespread flak among the pro-liberation forces in the country. Many slammed the BNP chief, terming her an “agent of Pakistan” and demanded that she leave Bangladesh.
On December 25 the same year, in a flurry of outrageous remarks, Goyeshwar described the 1971 martyred intellectuals as "anti-liberation elements" who "died like fools" and drew salaries and allowances from Pakistan till the end of the war.
Different newspapers published the news items citing their comments which defamed the image of the freedom fighters who sacrificed themselves for liberating the country in 1971, said the complainant.
In another development, Khaleda's lawyer yesterday submitted two petitions with the Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court challenging the legality of the lower courts' July 5 orders that rejected her bail prayers in two cases filed over “undermining” the national flag and celebrating her “fake” birthday on August 15.
Masud Ahmed Talukder, one of her lawyers, filed the criminal appeals against the bail prayer rejection orders of the two metropolitan magistrates.
After a hearing, Judge KM Imrul Kayes fixed July 31 for hearing the bail petitions.
On February 8, a special Dhaka court sentenced Khaleda to five years' rigorous imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.