BNP chief Khaleda Zia has been admitted to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University for treatment. The BNP chairperson was escorted out of the prison on Nazimuddin Road in Old Dhaka around 3:10pm on Saturday. She was taken to the hospital in Shahbag from the prison in Old Dhaka under heavy security. Two cabin rooms have been prepared for the 73-year-old former prime minister. Her personal belongings were brought to the hospital beforehand. A police car brought the BNP chief out of the prison. The convoy also included police and RAB vehicles and an ambulance.
The convoy arrived at the hospital around 3:45pm. Khaleda, wearing a pink sari, stepped down from the vehicle and sat down in a wheelchair. She was then taken to the sixth floor of the hospitals cabin block.
Domestic aide Fatema Begum, who attends to Khaleda in jail, was seen to follow her. Several pieces of luggage were taken from the vehicle.
Many BNP activists were at the hospital to see Khaleda, but were blocked from approaching her by police.
Mohila Dal activists chanted slogans calling for Khaledas release.
Several BNP leaders, including Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and Standing Committee members Moudud Ahmed and Mirza Abbas, were also present at the hospital.
Journalists had gathered at the prison since Saturday morning, but no additional law enforcement had been seen in the area.
But law enforcers began to arrive at the scene as the day wore on.
A fire service truck was parked before the gates to the prison. RAB patrol vehicles were also seen in the area. Traffic was slowly brought to a halt.
Khaleda was the only inmate at the prison on Nazimuddin Road.
She has been there since Feb 8, when she was sentenced to five years in jail over the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
Khaleda had earlier been taken to BSMMU in April for medical tests.
The BNP has repeatedly called for the party chief to be transferred to United Hospital for treatment, but the government has proposed that she be taken to BSMMU.
The BNP had not accepted the proposal and prison authorities indicated that Khaleda had also objected.
In an order on Thursday, the High Court instructed that Khaleda be admitted to BSMMU. Khaledas lawyer and BNP Joint Secretary General Mahbub Uddin Khokon had agreed to the decision.
Khaledas medical treatment has been a matter of discussion in political circles for some time. The BNP claims that the government did not provide her with proper treatment.