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 Khaleda house move illegal, says BNP..................

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PostSubject: Khaleda house move illegal, says BNP..................   Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:47 pm




The cabinet decision to cancel the lease of Khaleda Zia's cantonment residence is illegal and should be withdrawn immediately, BNP secretary general Khandakar Delwar said at a protest rally Thursday.

The rally at BNP's Naya Paltan headquarters was a part of the party's two-day countrywide protest programme announced the previous day in reaction to the cabinet decision

"Withdraw the illegal decision before it is too late. The government will have to bear the consequences if it wants to do something illegal through intimidation, flouting rules and regulations," Delwar warned.

"The government has taken the decision to gloss over its failures including proper investigation into the of BDR carnage," he said.

A cabinet meeting, chaired by prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday, decided to cancel the lease on the 6 Moinul Road bungalow in Dhaka Cantonment that was given to Khaleda Zia after the May 30, 1981 killing of her husband, BNP 'founder' and army chief-turned-president Zia.

Hasina has argued that the house was allocated to Khaleda in violation of Cantonment Board law.
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In public interest, says law minister

The law minister on Thursday said the government had cancelled the lease "in the interest of the people and the state".

Shafiq Ahmed told reporters it was not done, as the main opposition BNP claims, to satisfy any political vengeance.

It was done simply because the house had been allotted illegally and to right that wrong, the lease allotment has to be repealed, he clarified.

"You'll get the answer to this riddle if you ask anyone if the same person can be entitled to receive two similarly appointed government houses," Shafiq said.

"If one raises the issue of [late president] Ziaur Rahman's attachment to the house, then someone else might argue that Ganabhaban bears the burden of Bangabandhu and his family's memories."

He said the government had allotted prime minister Sheikh Hasina's sister Sheikh Rehana a house in Dhanmondi. But the past BNP-led alliance government cancelled the allotment, built a police station there and the then prime minister, Khaleda, inaugurated that.

Shafiq said, replying to a question, "If that government could do that, why the present one would not commit similar acts?"

Asked if he believed the decision might touch off political unrest, he said, "In Bangladesh, everything is given a political colour, whereas this is only an ordinary decision taken in the interest of the state and its people."

"The allotment process followed while handing the house to Khaleda Zia was illegal. And, one person cannot be the recipient of two houses," he said.

Revenge, says Delwar

Delwar said Thursday that the Cantonment Board leased out the allotment of the house legally and the cabinet could not cancel the lease.

He said that the prime minister had taken the move as revenge over the cancellation of allotment of Ganobhaban in her name.

"The move is designed not only to dispossess the Zia family but also to destroy the nationalist forces," he added

Several hundred activists from different units of BNP and pro-BNP groups joined the protest rally at Naya Paltan.

The rally was attended by other party leaders.

Pro-BNP lawyers, meanwhile, brought out a protest procession at the Old Dhaka court premises.

They condemned the cabinet decision to cancel the lease of the Khaleda's cantonment house and demanded immediate cancellation of the order.

Party leaders and activists across the country held agitation programmes in protest against the government's decision over the BNP chief's cantonment residence.

In Chittagong, they brought out a procession from the party office at Nasiman Bhaban. A brief rally presided over by former whip Wahedul Alam was addressed by local leaders.

The four other divisional cities—Sylhet, Rajsahi, Barishal, Khulna—saw district and city BNP units in procession and marches through the city streets.

Other districts, including Netrokona, Satkhira and Chandpur, also saw demonstration and.

Some 250 pro-BNP teachers of Rajshahi University also condemned the decision as "a blueprint to destroy nationalist forces" and "a conspiracy to demolish parliamentary democracy". They demanded the immediate withdrawal of the "controversial and indecent" decision.
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