Fakhrul sent to jail again
A Dhaka court yesterday sent BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir to jail after he surrendered before it, seeking bail in three arson and vandalism cases.
With this, the BNP leader landed in prison for the seventh time during the present government.
Metropolitan Magistrate Md Maruf Hossain denied three bail pleas moved by the BNP leader saying he had no jurisdiction as the Supreme Court did not grant Fakhrul bail in the cases.
The court, however, directed the prison authorities to consider his physical condition and provide him with proper treatment.
On Monday, the SC ordered Fakhrul to surrender before a lower court concerned by yesterday after hearing three separate petitions filed by him seeking an extension of its order that granted him bail in the cases.
Complying, Fakhrul appeared before the court around 3:00pm yesterday and moved three separate petitions over the three arson and vandalism cases lodged with Paltan police in the capital on January 4, 5 and 6.
During yesterday's hearing, Fakhrul's lawyer Khandker Mahbub Hossain told the court that his client had been suffering from different ailments, and he would go abroad on November 24 for checkups. So, he should be given bail, considering his illness.
On the other hand, Metropolitan Public Prosecutor Abdullah Abu opposed the defence pleas, saying the SC did not grant Fakhrul bail in the cases. So, the lower court had no jurisdiction to grant him bail.
Upset by the court's order, pro-BNP lawyers brought out a procession on the court premises and chanted slogans, demanding his immediate release.
Following three bail petitions filed by Fakhrul, the HC on June 21 gave him ad interim bail in the cases and also issued three separate rules upon the government to explain as to why he should not be released on regular bail in the cases.
On July 13, the SC granted a six-week bail to the BNP leader on medical grounds, clearing the way for his release from jail. The apex court also directed him to surrender before a lower court concerned after the six weeks.
On August 31, the SC extended the bail order for six more weeks. On October 6, it further extended till November 2 its bail order for Fakhrul on medical grounds in the cases.
Of the three cases, the first one accuses Fakhrul and 28 others of vandalising and torching a bus at Gulistan on January 4.
The second case alleged that Fakhrul and 49 other BNP leaders and activists brought out a procession and later set fire to a motorbike of a policeman at Fakirapool on January 5.
According to the third case statement, a BRTC bus was torched near Bangabandhu National Stadium in Paltan on January 6 by a group of BNP leaders and activists, including Fakhrul.
Except the three cases, Fakhrul, who stands accused in 89 cases, has got bail from the HC and lower courts in other cases.
The BNP leader was first sent to jail on May 16, 2012, after his surrender before another Dhaka court in connection with a case filed for torching a vehicle in front of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on April 29 that year.
BNP yesterday warned the government that people would hold it responsible if Fakhrul's physical condition was at risk due to his imprisonment.
“He [Fakhrul] has been sufferings from different ailments, including blockage in carotid artery of his neck. He was supposed to go to Singapore for follow-up treatment on November 24,” said BNP Spokesperson Asaduzzaman Ripon while addressing a briefing at the party's Nayapaltan central office last evening.
“We are very much concerned that a Dhaka court sent him [Fakhrul] to jail after he had surrendered before it, complying with the Supreme Court directive,” the BNP spokesman added.
He said Fakhrul had “fainted” several times and also lost “16 kilogram weights” during his six months' stay in jail since January 6.
“The opposition party is an important institution in a democratic process. But the government has been engaged in destroying this institution,” Ripon observed.