Khaleda Zia Faces Arrest Over ‘Fake Birthday’ Celebration

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Dhaka: An arrest warrant has been issued against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in a case filed against her for celebrating a “fake” birthday on August 15, observed as National Mourning Day marking the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with most of his family members in 1975.

Metropolitan Magistrate of Dhaka Md Mazharul Islam passed the order after the complainant submitted a petition before it for issuing an arrest warrant against her.

Earlier, Khaleda Zia did not appear before the court even though three dates of hearings have passed.

Gazi Zahirul Islam, former joint general secretary of the Dhaka Union of Journalists, filed the case with the court of Mazharul Islam, who, after a hearing, asked Khaleda to appear on October 17.

Also appealing for an arrest warrant, the complainant wrote that Khaleda’s actual date of birth was not August 15 but she celebrates her birthday on that date every year to undermine and dishonour Bangabandhu.

He also submitted copies of Khaleda’s passport, marriage certificate and mark sheets of exams taken prior to leaving school as well as a 1991 news report on her biography run by national daily Dainik Bangla.

The former premier started the celebrations cutting a cake at her Minto Road residence from 1996, when she stepped down from power. In the past couple of years, she had been doing so in the early hours at her Gulshan office.

Though she decided to avoid ceremonies this year “considering floods in the country and oppression by the government”, BNP held a special prayer at its Naya Paltan headquarters.

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