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Defamation cases against Khaleda Zia dismissed in Bangladesh

PTI | Last Updated: Wednesday, January 1, 2014 - 20:20

Dhaka: Two defamation cases against opposition leader Khaleda Zia filed by Bangladesh`s ruling Awami League supporters over her "hateful" remarks about Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina`s home district have been dismissed.
A Dhaka court today refused to admit a complaint lodged against Zia, accusing her of issuing threats during her altercation with police on Sunday.

After a hearing, Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Asaduzzaman Noor observed that it was not clear how the complainant, Bangladesh freedom-fighter Awami League founder Mojibur Rahman Mollah, was defamed by Zia`s comment.
Mollah had filed the complaint this morning, accusing the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief of issuing threats during an altercation with police, BD News portal reported.

Angry over the police refusal to let her leave her house to attend a party rally, Zia warned a woman police official, apparently hailing from Gopalganj, of changing the district`s name which happens to be Hasina`s home district.

"Where do you hail from? Gopali Will change the name of Gopalganj. It will not exist any longer," Zia had said.

The opposition leader was criticised by Gopalganj residents and Awami League leaders for her comments.

In his complaint Mollah, who is also a resident of Gopalganj, said that her comment was defamatory and charged Zia for issuing threat and instigation.
Yesterday, the same court had refused to admit a similar complaint against the BNP chief filed by A B Siddique, President of the pro-Awami League Bangladesh Jananetri.

Siddique had also filed the case with the Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate court two days after Zia said if returned to power, she would change the name of Gopalganj.
The BNP-led 18-party alliance has been demanding Hasina`s resignation and scrapping of the January 5 polls.

The BNP has refused to field candidates, saying elections under Hasina will be rigged - an accusation the premier strongly rejects.

Meanwhile, Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu today insisted that Zia is not under house arrest.

"The government needs to issue a notification if it wants to keep anyone under house arrest. But no such notification has been issued in this regard," Inu said.

First Published: Wednesday, January 1, 2014 - 20:20
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