Bangladeshi opposition lawmakers get bail in arson attack case

Dhaka, May 27 (Xinhua-ANI): A High Court Division bench of Bangladesh Sunday granted ad-interim bail for six months to five opposition alliance lawmakers accused of torching a vehicle during a dawn-to-dusk hartal last month.

The bench also issued a rule upon Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’ s government to explain in a week why the other accused including main opposition party’s Acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and 39 others should not be granted bail.

On May 16, Fakhrul and 32 other leaders of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-led 18-party alliance were sent to jail in connection with the case after they surrendered before a trial court.

BNP Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi Ahmed, Joint Secretary-General Mahbub Uddin Khokon, a lawmaker, and six other leaders and workers were also sent in jail in the same case.

A total of 45 leaders and workers of former prime minister Khaleda Zia’s BNP-led 18-party alliance were accused in the case for torching a vehicle on a main road near the Prime Minister’s Office during hartal hours on April 29.

Khaleda’s BNP-led 18-party alliance enforced countrywide hartals during April 22-24 and April 29-30 to protest the ” mysterious disappearance” of Elias Ali, the organizing secretary of the party, who along with his driver went missing on the night of April 17.

Although Khaleda, also BNP chairperson, blames the government for Ali’s “mysterious disappearance,” her arch political rival Hasina, also ruling party Bangladesh Awami League chief, said this is nothing but a conspiracy hatched by the opposition party leader to make it an issue for anti-government agitation. (Xinhua-ANI)