Khaleda Zia may be evicted from her homeApril 14th, 2009 - 1:35 pm ICT by IANS
Dhaka, April 14 (IANS) Political confrontation is building up in Bangladesh as the government prepares to issue a notice this week to opposition leader Khaleda Zia asking her to vacate her house within a stipulated time.
A notice to be issued by the defence ministry is now under process. Zia will be requested to leave the house within a specific period of time, Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said Monday.
If Zia does not leave the house as per terms of the notice, “then the law will take its own course”, Ahmed told media.
Zia has been living in the house located within the Dhaka Cantonment since 1981. It was allotted to her after her husband, then president Ziaur Rahman, was assassinated in a military putsch.
Mahbub Uddin Khokon, a lawmaker and counsel for Zia, told The Daily Star newspaper that he will file a writ petition on her behalf challenging the legality of the government’s decision to cancel the allotment of her cantonment house.
On April 8, the government cancelled allotment of the house due to “a number of anomalies regarding the allotment within the military zone”.
Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has been staging protest rallies over the cancellation.
The law minister said there is no legal base for Khaleda Zia occupying the nine bighas of land in the cantonment area. “No authority, even the government does not have the power to allot the cantonment house to any individual as per rules of the Cantonment Act 1924,” he said.
The land belongs to the government and that is why it will be in the possession of the government as per law, he said.
Zia calls this political vendetta and has refused to vacate her home. Her supporters say it is a tit-for-tat as Zia’s government had cancelled a house allotted to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s younger sister Sheikh Rehana.
The government denies this. Instead, Hasina told parliament earlier this month that her government planned to build homes to settle families of 55 Bangladesh Army officers who were killed during the February mutiny by troopers of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR).
The Hasina government says Zia had ‘manipulated’ allotment of the house in the Dhaka Cantonment when the allotment was for Gulshan, an upscale residential area.
Zia, an army officers’s wife, has lived in Dhaka Cantonment for a better part of her life.
She ruled Bangladesh for ten years (1991-96 and 2001-06), but lost badly in the election held last December.
Tags: allotment, anomalies, bangladesh nationalist party, bangladesh nationalist party bnp, cantonment area, daily star, defence ministry, khaleda zia, law minister, lawmaker, military zone, minister sheikh hasina, opposition leader, political confrontation, political vendetta, protest rallies, putsch, time law, uddin, writ petition