Let elections be held on time: Hasina

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Dhaka, Jan 9: Detained former premier and Awami League (AL) chief Sheikh Hasina has demanded general elections to be held on schedule despite her fears of being barred from taking part due to an extortion case.

The Tk 3 crore extortion case was filed against her to undermine Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's family, she said in an emotion-choked voice. The former prime minister said this yesterday during a meeting with her counsels after the Court of the Sessions Judge fixed next Sunday for charge framing of the case filed by businessman Azam J Chowdhury on June 13 last year. Dressed in an ash-coloured shawl and brown saree, an ailing Hasina appeared before the court at 0938 am (local time).

'When justice is influenced and even delivered as ordered, undergoing medical check-up means nothing here,'' she replied when jounalists asked her about her health condition.

She also mentioned that she is suffering from multiple sickness including high blood pressure, vertigo, eye and ear problems.

''But it is meaningless mentioning the diseases I am suffering from," she added.''They want to make me disqualified from taking part in the general elections. And all the arrangements have been made in this regard. Even if I were barred from contesting the elections, let it be held in time,'' the Daliy Star quoted her as saying.

''The verdict has already been prepared to be delivered. And it was designed as far as it's possible to undermine the family of the father of the nation,'' added Ms Hasina who appeared before the court with a feeble look last morning.

''I've been given a condition that I have to accept the verdict, which means they know what would be the verdict in the end,'' she sighed.''Insisting that much on a issue that I cannot talk against the verdict only means the verdict is designed,'' she said standing on the dock beside her cousin Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, another accused in the case.

''Obviously, I would not go abroad on any condition imposed. I want justice from the people of Bangladesh,'' Ms Hasina uttered her last words before she was taken to the sub-jail.


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