The government is waiting for court orders to arrest Khaleda Zia even though the BNP chief has been charged with instigating violence and acts of sabotages amid a violent transport blockade.
State Minister for Home Affairs Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told reporters this on Sunday after meeting Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha.
Asked whether the government had any plans to detain the former prime minister, Kamal said, “How does the question of arrest come?”
“We’ll arrest her only after orders from a court. The question does not arise now.”
The government has been blaming Khaleda who called the indefinite blockade on Jan 5 for all the violence that have occurred since.
Recently she was named in a number of cases filed by police over arson attacks in Dhaka and Comilla.
BNP acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and several other senior party leaders have already been arrested in cases over blockade and shutdown-related violence.
Responding to queries, the junior home minister said he made a ‘courtesy call’ on the chief justice.
He said the chief justice had asked for better security arrangements for the Supreme Court.
He said a new law to curb political violence was not necessary at the moment.
Only a day before, Suranjit Sengupta, Chairman of the Standing Committee on the Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, said the government was considering formulating one.
Kamal told reporters, “There is no need for a new law. There is an Anti-Terrorism Act in effect since 2009.”
“We’ll enforce that law. We’ll eliminate terrorism at any cost. Justice will be provided based on that Act,” he added.
Several activists of the BNP-led alliance have recently died in alleged gunfights with police amid the anti-government movement. The BNP says they were ‘murdered’.
But State Minister Kamal claimed no incidents of ‘crossfire’ were taking place.
“Gunfights are taking place randomly across the world, not only in Bangladesh. You (journalists) have seen that four people were killed in France (by terrorists). You saw that people were shot dead in America because they didn’t put their hands up.”
“Gunfights only take place whenever police go to combat terrorism and arrest criminals,” he remarked.