khaleda zia
Tarique Rahman, 51-year-old son of Bangladesh's main Opposition leader and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, was sentenced to seven years in jail by a Bangladesh court on Thursday on charges of money laundering. Picture: Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia attends a rally in Dhaka Oct. 20, 2013.Reuters

A Dhaka court issued an arrest warrant Wednesday for former Bangladesh prime minister and opposition leader Khaleda Zia in connection with a petrol bomb attack on a bus in the Jatrabari area during her party's anti-government protest in January 2015, according to reports.

The Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court issued arrest warrants for 27 leaders and workers of Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) as well, for instigating the attack that killed two people and injured several others. Judge Kamrul Hossain Mollah has asked the police to submit a compliance report by April 27 after making the arrests.

"The court issued the arrest warrant against begum Zia in connection with an arson attack on a passenger bus in January last year," Outlook quoted a Metropolitan Sessions Judge's court official as saying.

"She is the main accused in the case. The court issued the warrant of arrest against her and 27 other senior officials and activists," prosecutor Shah Alam Talukdar told Agence France-Presse.

BNP spokesman Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said the accusations against the 70-year-old former premier was "politically motivated." "This is politically motivated and is part of deep conspiracy against her," he said.

Zia's party had last year led a protest to bring down the Awami League government headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The protest turned violent, leading to arson in parts of the country. Over 120 people were killed. BNP activists attacked several buses and trucks with fire-bombs.

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