Dhaka – A court in eastern Bangladeshi district of Comilla on Monday issued an arrest warrant for former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia and 77 others in charges involving firebomb attack on a passenger bus two years ago.
The district court issued the warrant after investigators pressed charges against Khaleda and 77 other activists from Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its rightwing ally Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, prosecutor Mostafizur Rahman said.
Khaleda was accused of encouraging violence and inciting activists to create unrest in the name of political protest.
Eight passengers of the bus were killed after activists of the BNP and its allies threw firebombs on it at Chauddagram, nearly 110 kilometers north-east of the capital Dhaka, on February 3, 2015,m according to investigators.
The attack was carried out amid a nationwide transport blockade called by the party aiming at unseating the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Khaleda is now in a private trip to meet her son Tarique Rahman in London.
The BNP, which staged instant demonstration in Comilla town after the court order, said the allegation against Khaleda Zia was politically motivated.
Khaleda was granted bail last year after a Dhaka court issued arrest warrant in similar charges related to yet another firebomb attack on a bus by her supporters near Dhaka on January 23, 2015.
At least 130 people were killed and many others injured across the country in the wave of violence, mostly petrol bomb attacks on vehicles, after BNP called a transport blockade to demand the resignation of the government.
Bangladeshi politics is divided between Hasina’s ruling Awami League and Khaleda rival Bangladesh Nationalist Party.
The two women have led the country alternately since military dictator Hossain Muhammad Ershad was ousted from office in a mass uprising in 1990.