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B'desh: Sheikh Hasina arrested, sent to jail
July 16, 2007 10:46 IST
Last Updated: July 16, 2007 12:27 IST
In a pre-dawn raid, former Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina was on Monday arrested on charges of extortion and sent to jail by a court following rejection of her bail petition.
A huge convoy of vehicles escorted a police jeep carrying Hasina from her Sudhasadan residence in Dhanamandi area of the capital to the Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate's court shortly after 0730 hours.
Magistrate Qumrunnahar ordered her to be sent to jail for an unspecified period rejecting a bail petition after a more than two-hour long hearing when over 50 lawyers led by Barrister Amirul Islam stood for the former premier.
Soon after the court order, security personnel escorted Hasina out of the courtroom and brought her to the parliament complex, where a house earmarked for the deputy speaker was declared earlier as a 'sub-jail' to accommodate VIP detainees arrested under emergency rules.
Lawyers who witnessed the proceedings said the court order came after the hearing on an extortion case and a murder charge brought earlier against Hasina by a businessman.
They said Hasina rejected the charges calling it part of a 'conspiracy' while her lawyers protested the pre-dawn arrest asking if the country was under 'emergency' or 'military' rule.
Several hundred activists lined up on the way near Sudhaadan and waved hands as the convoy passed while Hasina's expatriate son Sajib Wajed Joy, in a telephone interview from US to CSB television, strongly protested his mother's arrest, warning of a massive campaign against the action at home and abroad.
Earlier, nearly a thousand elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion troops and armed policemen laid a siege around her residence and enforced a tight security barring reporters and party activists from entering into the area.