The BNP has announced protest programmes across the country next Sunday, describing issuance of arrest warrants against the party’s chairperson a politically motivated plot by the government.
BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi made the announced at a press conference held at the BNP's Nayapaltan central office on Thursday.
Speaking at the conference, Rizvi said: “The BNP will bring out processions and hold meetings throughout the country on Sunday, to protest against the arrest warrants.
"People can easily understand that the issuance of these warrants against Khaleda Zia, just as she is set to return home, is a plot by the government. We believe it is a part of the government’s strategy against the BNP,” Rizvi said.
The senior BNP leader added: "I, on behalf of the BNP, strongly protest and condemn the arrest warrants and demand their immediate withdrawal."
Two courts had recently issued arrest warrants against Khaleda Zia in two cases. One warrant was issued in connection with the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case and another in a case filed over undermining the country's map and national flag.
Earlier on Monday, a Comilla court issued yet another arrest warrant against the BNP chairperson and 45 other leaders and activists of the party, in a case filed in connection with a petrol bomb attack on a bus in Chouddagram upazila in 2015.
Mentioning that their chairperson has been receiving treatment for her ailments in London, Rizvi said: “Khaleda's counsels submitted a medical certificate for her illness and treatment before the court.
“The court knows this very well, but there has been a sudden spree of issuing arrest warrants against Khaleda Zia in false cases for the past three-four days."
Rizvi also said the activists of the ruling party's associate bodies, such as Jubo League and Chhatra League, brought out processions expressing their happiness after the issuance of the warrants.
"It is now clear that the court passed the order at the behest of the government," he claimed.
He alleged that the government is making a serious effort to eliminate the opposition parties and to make the apex court its puppet.
Rizvi said: "The entire judiciary got scared seeing what happened to the Chief Justice. An now they can no longer work independently."
The BNP leader also claimed that the government is making plans to hold another lopsided election like the polls in January 5, 2014, by keeping BNP out of the race.