Photo, courtesy of the Daily Star.
National leader of Bangladesh, late Presiedent Ziaur rahman lived in this house from 1972 till his death in 1981. This was a house he was allotted as the deputy chief of staff of Bangladesh Army.
After his death, the then elected government’s cabinet decided to give the property to the widow of the slain president in a 99 year lease. That widow is now our leader of opposition.
Coming back to power for the second time, PM Sheikh Hasina seemed hellbent in evicting the opposition leader from that house and then demolishing this residence of late President Ziaur rahman.
A legal battle is underway in the court in this regard. A hearing is scheduled to take place in the Supreme court on Nov 29th.
However government looks like too impatient to wait till final resolution of the legal process.
So far from the sketchy news coming out of Dhaka cantonment where Mrs Zia leaves, the followng incidences have been confirmed.
1. Military PR wing issued a press release that opposition leader is leaving the house on her own. However the opposition leader, through her press secretery has denied any such claim by the military.
2. All the staff of the opposition leader residence have been rounded up and taken to police station.
3. Police and military trucks have taken position in front of opposition leader’s house.
4. Telephone line has been disconnected from the residence of opoosition leader.
5. Cantonment officials went to opposition leader’s house to take over the property.
6. Police and paramilitary Rapid Action Battalion forces has entered opoosition leader’s house and they were seen at the roof.
7. Opposition leader is being debied to meet her lawyers and political collegaue.
8. Opposition chief whip and other colleague of the opposition leader were barred from entering cantonment.
9. Law enforcement agency members were reported to be using hand mikes instructing the opposition leader to evacuate the home and promising stern action otherwise.
10. Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s General Secretary, in a press briefing, informed that the opposition leader is under house arrest at this time.
11. Sporadic clashed with opposition activists and law men are being reported from different parts of the country.
12. An attempted rally from opposition main office was dispersed by the police.
13. Lawyers of Mrs Zia, the opposition leader, went to meet the Chief justice in his residence begging for a legal remedy.
[ UPDATE 12 NOON BDT]
14. Apparently there is a media blackout about the events regarding the residence of the opposition leader.
15. The main opposition party called a down to dusk general strike for tomorrow.
In the evening, after daylong siege, Law enforcement men breaks open Opposition leader Khaleda Zia’s home, breaks open into her bedroom, indiscriminately beats her staff and family members, dragging her out of her bedroom and escorts her out of her home for 40 years.
Later in the evening in a press conference, Mrs Zia talked to the nation of her ordeal.