Bangladesh's embattled former prime minister Khaleda Zia's legal woes further worsened after she was named as the "instigator of violence" in two fresh charge sheets filed in a court here over violence during last year's anti-government agitation.
Zia and 50 other leaders and activists of BNP were charged in Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court yesterday in two cases over violence during the three-month long nationwide blockade called by BNP-led 20-party alliance in which over 100 people were killed, mostly in arson attacks on passenger buses, in the capital and elsewhere.
The new charge sheets have taken to six the count of charge sheets filed against 70-year-old Zia in the cases over the violence.
Police and court officials said one of the fresh two cases accused her of instigating party activists to torch two buses in the capital on February 10 and March 3, 2015.
Metropolitan Magistrate Imdadul Haque set May 31 and June 1 for the approval and signing of the charge sheets, court police official Mirash Uddin said.
The 50 others named in the charge sheet include BNP Joint Secretary General Amanullah Aman, Swechchhasebak Dal chief Habib-un-Nabi Khan Sohel and General Secretary Mir Sarafat Ali Sopu, Zia's Press Secretary Maruf Kamal Khan and former Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal president Sultan Salahuddin Tuku.
Zia is already facing a slew of graft cases.
Last month, a court rejected two petitions of Zia who appeared before it in a graft case which accuses her of embezzling over USD four lakh from a trust when she was the premier.
Meanwhile, BNP accused the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of executing a plan to drive the party chief out of politics implicating her in "false cases"
"False cases are being filed against top to grassroots leaders and activists including our party chief Khaleda Zia and (her fugitive son) senior vice-chairman Tarique Rahman to keep them away from politics," BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said.
He alleged that a "suffocating situation" now prevailed in the country as Sheikh Hasina government was "destroying democracy" destructing the political institutions systematically.
Prime Minister Hasina has promised justice for the victims of violence, saying the BNP and its ally Jamaat-e-Islami "unleashed the violence in the name of protests to destabilise the country".