A Dhaka court issued an arrest warrant on Thursday against Bangladesh National Party (BNP) chief and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia for celebrating her birthday on 15th August.
August 15 is commemorated as National Mourning Day in Bangladesh. On that day in 1975, the country’s founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family were murdered.
Current Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s daughter.
An official told the PTI that Zia did not appear before the court despite court’s multiple reminders, this allowed the court to send the arrest warrant. “Zia was summoned by the court but she did not appear during three previous hearings… So the magistrate issued the arrest warrant in line with legal procedure.”
The Dhaka Tribune reported that the Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Mohammad Mazharul Islam gave the order.
Journalist and former joint secretary of Dhaka Union of Journalists Gazi Zahirul Islam filed the case on 31st August with the Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court under section 198 and 469 of the Penal Code.
According to the case statement, Khaleda Zia has been intentionally celebrating her fake birthday since 1996, August 15.
Gazi Zahirul alleged that Zia’s marriage certificate said her date of birth was August 9, 1944, but she intentionally chose August 15 to celebrate her birthday to mock the “Father of the Nation”.
The case statement said that the date of birth on Zia’s passport was August 5, 1944, her official biography published in 1991 pointed her birthday was August 19, 1945 and her school final exam marksheet said the date was September 19, 1946.
Zahir stated he submitted all those documents before the court as none of the documents prove she was born on August 15.
Every year Zia’s party BNP celebrated her birthday at her party-office. Her birthday celebration on August 15 is a point of annoyance for the ruling Awami League. However, this year Zia skipped her celebration to protest government oppression.
The trouble between Hasina and Zia raised after evidence and witnesses said that Zia’s elder son and BNP’s senior vice-chairman Tarique Rahman planned the deathly August 21, 2004, grenade attack on Hasina. Hasina escaped but 21 people killed in the attack.