[ Cross posted at Unheard Voices]

The Daily Star reports,

Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina picked up by law enforcers

Law enforcers early today picked up former prime minister and Awami League(AL) chief Sheikh Hasina from her Sudha Sadan residence. Several hundred law enforcers had cordoned former Prime Minister and Awami League Chief Sheikh Hasina’s house in a pre-dawn raid. They entered the premises of her Dhanmondi road number 5 residence, Sudha Sadan, at around 4:50am and left the premises with AL chief around 7:30am…”A follow up report says, span class=”mainheadlink1″>“AL chief Sheikh Hasina sent to jail in an extortion case…” “AL activists were reported to be in rampage throughout the country…”BDNews24.com has a bit more details, (thanks bdfcat for the news. I am having a difficult time entering bdnews24.com)..Hasina arrested, taken to court Security forces led away Sheikh Hasina at 7:31am Monday to Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court for Dhaka after surrounding the Sudha Sadan home of the feisty Awami League president for three hours from 4:30am.Hasina was taken to the court of magistrate Kamrunnahar in an extortion case that involves about Tk 3 crore, filed by Azam J Chowdhury, managing director of Eastcoast Trading Limited, on June 13.Awami League leader Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim was also accused in the same case filed with Gulshan Police Station.“Don’t cry,” Hasin said to a crying lawyer after she arrived at the court. “They want to stop me taking part in elections,” the 59-year-old leader told lawyers.Law adviser Mainul Hosein told bdnews24.com that Hasina had been arrested on clear charges.”I heard about her arrest. She has been facing a number of cases. Awami League leaders and activists also backed the cases against her.”Awami League presidium member Motia Chowdhury told bdnews24.com: “Nobody will accept it. It’s political harassment.”When she was being led away in a dark-blue Nissan Patrol car with tinted glass, the former prime minister waved at people and smiled.span class=”mainheadlink1″>Earlier, at 4:53am she told bdnews24.com by phone, “I did no wrong, neither did my family.” As Hasina was speaking to bdnews24.com, there was a sound of knocking on the door and somebody was heard saying, “They’ve come and want to get in.” Hasina told him: “Tell them I’m coming after saying my prayers.”RAB and police sealed off all the entry points to the home and cordoned it while the policewomen went in. Several hundred RAB and police officers arrived at the Dhanmondi road no. 5 home at 4:30am, accompanied by plainclothes officers carrying ropes and pliers.

Some 50 vehicles including 15 buses, two prison vans and three ambulances waited outside the home in the wee hours amid driving rains.

“The country witnessed good governance in the five years of AL rule. Prices of essentials were under control,” the former prime minister told bdnews24.com Senior Political Correspondent Suman Mahbub. The 59-year-old leader said she had ruled the country with honesty. “I can personally say that no-one in my family nor I was involved in extortion.

In the last five years, the BNP-led government looked for our mistakes, but couldn’t find any.” “Why should we be harassed? This government is the outcome of our movement. Why would the rights of the people be revoked?” the AL chief said.

Unheard Voices is not a news service, rather it is a blog which is meant to be a forum of expressing people’s opinions and perspectives. We will not do justice to our readers if we have ended just with the news. Personally I believe that I owe my readers an opinion about this matter. It is just one month less than 32 years since all but one members of Sheikh Hasina’s extended family were murdered brutally by some military officers. The vocal noisy part of the general public cheered the brutal murder during that time. And 32 years later today we know that whatever overwhelming support was there for the August 15th mass murder, 15th August murders were by no means the right thing to do. Similarly our current government may enjoy overwhelming support and this arrest may be supported by the vocal majority. But, in my opinion, this arrest was a little beyond the reasonable scope of this government. We expected a free fair election and restructuring and empowering the constitutionl bodies of the government. We do not expect the CTG to dictate us who should be our leader and who should not be. There should have been some respect on people’s opinion and capability to choose their own leader. Sheikh Hasina apparently has been arested on corruption charges. This government is based on a mandate of dealing with corruption. But government’s credibility in handling of corruption has already been seriously tainted by its leniency on the corruption of the turncoat politicians who are reportedly working in collusion with the government to split the major political parties. I do not know whether this is the beginning of the end but I do know this is the end of the honeymoon period of this caretaker government. photo: Farjana K Godhuly, AFP