Hasina fears she could be the ‘next target’


Dhaka : Under pressure from the government that has detained some of her close aides without citing reasons, former Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina fears that she could be the next target.

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She has not said anything directly, save talking over telephone to Chief Advisor Fakhruddin Ahmed and Law Advisor Mainul Hosein, seeking "best available treatment" for her party men, especially ailing Chittagong Mayor Mohiuddin Ahmed.

But some of her aides, who have met her, have gone public. One of them, Latif Siddiqui, a former party lawmaker, has said that she feared she could be the "next target" after the arrest of her party general secretary Abdul Jalil and Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, a cousin. The government has not cited reasons for their arrest.

Hasina "seems determined to see off the present adversities while pressure on her to retire from politics builds up both within and outside the party", The Daily Star said Saturday.

The government has already been working to revive two-year-old graft cases against her regarding the purchase of MiG-29 fighters and a frigate. The high court Tuesday set Aug 1 and 7 for hearing on her petitions for quashing the cases filed during the rule of four-party alliance.

The previous day, a Dhaka court had asked for a supplementary investigation report to be placed on July 1 on the Oct 28 Paltan killing case filed against Hasina and 45 others. The charge of having extorted Taka 30 million (approximately $500,000) from a businessman is also under investigation.

In addition, the military-backed government is gathering information about her bank accounts to find out if there has been any unusual transaction, the newspaper said.

Hasina has said that hers is a large party and she operates many bank accounts as its chief.