Khaleda’s red phone now operative: BTCL


Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL) on Monday said the red telephone at opposition leader Khaleda Zia’s residence is operative at present.


“There was no permission for the entrance to the honourable opposition leader’s residence from the afternoon on October 26 till October 27. The permission for the entrance was given at 2pm today (Tuesday) and the red telephone was made operative. The telephone is now active,” the BTCL said in a statement.


It also mentioned that the following media reports on October 26 that the opposition leader’s red telephone was out of service, the BTCL officials checked the number at the ‘exchange’ and found it active.


The officials also checked the ‘cabinet’ linked to the opposition leader’s residence and found out that the telephone was active at that point, it said.


“But the final activity testing of it could not be accomplished because the permission to enter the honourable opposition leader’s residence was not given,” the statement added.


BTCL pointed out that it has not received any formal complaint over the red telephone at Khaleda’s residence until October 28.


The red phone was said to have remained inoperative for a long time by the opposition leader’s office on October 26 in response to the claim from the government side that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s repeatedly tried to reach the opposition leader over her ‘red phone’ but ‘failed.’


As the nation was waiting for a phone call from the PM to the opposition leader since the premier told her cabinet members in its last meeting that she would phone Khaleda, and the news of the failure to connect Khaleda over the red phone drew a lot of attention in the media.


PM’s special assistant Mahbubul Hoque Shakil (media) told UNB on October 26 that the PM tried to reach Khaleda Zia over red phone from 1:15 pm to 1:45 pm. “But nobody was there to receive the call.”


Shakil said mentioning that only the designated person can pick up the red phone.


Contacted on the same day, the opposition leader’s press secretary Maruf Kamal Khan told UNB: “The opposition leader’s red phone has long been out of order.”

Source: UNB Connect


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