The government will consider releasing BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on parole if she files an application and cites specific reasons, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said yesterday.
“We haven't received any request for parole so far,” he told reporters after inaugurating a naval police station at Chikajani in Jamalpur's Dewanganj upazila.
Parole is a conditional release of an inmate before completion of the sentence.
Regarding the minister's remark, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said they will discuss the matter at their party forum. “A decision on applying for parole will be taken later,” he told the news agency.
Khaleda has been in jail since February 8 last year after being convicted in a corruption case. She was later found guilty in a similar case.
Her release remains BNP's main demand. The party has been accusing the government of neglecting her treatment and demanding that she be moved to a specialised hospital.
Khaleda was shifted to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) on April 1.
BSMMU Director Brig Gen AK Mahbubul Haque said she had been suffering from severe pain in the joints of her hands and legs. He said Khaleda was weak and could not take food or sleep well. Her sugar level was also high.
On Thursday, Haque said Khaleda's condition has improved significantly and she was taking medicines prescribed by the five-member medical board formed by the government.
Fakhrul criticised taking Khaleda to BSMMU despite their repeated requests to allow her treatment at a specialised hospital. He said he does not believe that the party chief will get proper treatment at the state-run hospital.
“She's very sick. Her condition deteriorated so much that she can't walk and eat properly. She's been subjected to repression and it's inhumane,” he said.