Detectives today pressed charges against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and 37 others for Jatrabari arson attack on January 23 that killed a person and burned 27 others.
The Detective Branch of police that carried out the investigation into the incident submitted separate charge sheets in two cases -- one for killing and the other for hurling petrol bombs -- to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court of Dhaka.
The other accused include -- BNP leaders MK Anwar, Rizvi Ahmed, Amanullah Aman, Barkatullah Bulu, Habibunnabi Khan Sohel, Azizul Bari Helal, Sultan Salauddin Tuku, former BNP lawmaker from Dhaka Salauddin Ahmed, Khaleda’s advisors Khandker Mahbub Hossain and Shawkat Mahmud, her special assistance Shimul Biswas and her press secretary Maruf Kamal Khan.
Of the accused, seven including Rizvi were arrested earlier and now they are in jail while Khaleda and 30 others were shown fugitive in the charge sheets, court sources said.
According to the charge sheets, the BNP chief was implicated for masterminding the arson attack on the passenger bus that left 31 people burnt on January 23 night. One of the victims succumbed to his injuries later.
A day after the incident, Jatrabari police filed the cases against 68 BNP-Jamaat leaders.
After submitting the charges sheets, the investigation officer appealed to the court to issue arrest warrants against the fugitives. The court will decide on May 28 whether the charges would be accepted and to issue arrest warrants, court sources said.