Hasina orders intensified security for Zia
Last Updated: Saturday, February 27, 2010, 19:49
Dhaka: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday ordered intensified security for her archrival and BNP chief Khaleda Zia after the opposition party expressed fear of a threat to her life.

"She (Hasina) has asked the home minister (Sahara Khatun) to strengthen the security of the opposition leader," local government minister and ruling Awami League's general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam told newsmen at a briefing.

Emerging from a central working committee meeting of the party chaired by Hasina, Islam said the government would intensify Zia's security despite the fact that "our leader's (Hasina) security protection was withdrawn when BNP cam to power" after 2001 elections.

"The opposition leader deserves the security which is enjoyed by a cabinet minister, but she currently getting 10 times more security compared to what a minister gets," Islam said when asked if the elite Special Security Force (SSF) would be engaged for Zia's protection in line with BNP's demand.

BNP yesterday demanded elite SSF protection for its chief saying she was exposed to security risks after an improvised bomb exploded near her office last week and two homemade devises were found from the same place earlier.

"We are deeply concerned about the two recent bomb attacks on BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia. BNP standing committee demands deployment of SSF to secure her life," opposition spokesman Nazrul Islam Khan said.

The government earlier alleged that the incidents were "staged by BNP itself" as police arrested a leader of BNP's student wing from near the blast scene suspecting him to be involved the incident.

Asked if the bomb attacks were staged by the BNP itself, the opposition policymaker termed it Awami League's propaganda.

The SSF commandoes are trained specially for providing security to the VVIPs including the president and prime minister and visiting heads of governments or states.

The past military backed interim government engaged SSF for the security of both Hasina and Zia in for three months ahead of the December 29, 2008 general elections.


First Published: Saturday, February 27, 2010, 19:49

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