Awami League asks govt to send Sheikh Hasina abroad for treatment

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Dhaka, Jan 1 (UNI) Bangladesh's main opposition Awami League today asked the military backed caretaker government to send detained ex-Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina abroad for her eye treatment.

Sheikh Hasina who is facing several charges of corruption fell sick in the courtroom yesterday. She was immediately sent back to jail by Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions judge Fazlur Rahman.

Acting Awami League president Zillur Rahman, at a press briefing, said Ms Hasina must be provided with proper medicare abroad without delay.

Earlier, her personal physician Syed Modhassir Hosain had advised her to go abroad for her eye treatment.

Sheikh Hasina, who ruled the country for five years from 1996, was arrested on July 16 last year on charge of an extortion case involving Taka three crore.

Immediate ex-Prime Minister Khaleda Zia was also arrested on charges of corruption on September 2 last year. Both the former Prime Ministers have been detained in a makeshift jail in highly secure Parliament building complex.

Earlier, the incumbent caretaker government wanted to send both the ex-premiers into political exile abroad but they preferred to face the cases against them.

Meanwhile, Mr Rahman called for the caretaker government to open dialogue with the political parties to resolve the differnces.

''The government should now sit with the political parties to solve the political problems and should hold general election as soon as possible,'' he said.

He also urged the government to withdraw the state of emergency and ban on indoor politics across the country.

''When the government claims that the country is running in a systematic way, why then emergency should continue?'' Mr Rahman asked.

He expressed his deep concern over the price hike of essentials, including rice, and said the government should take immediate initiative to control the price spiral.

The caretaker government came to power on January 12 last year under the state of emergency cancelling the controversial general elections slated for January 22. The government now promises to hold the polls by December this year.

UNI XC SHB RN2145

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