The former Premier and opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party chief, Khaleda Zia, on Saturday vacated her residence in the Dhaka Cantonment from where she led her party for over two decades.

The Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a press briefing that Ms. Zia vacated the house “showing respect to the law of the land” as she had lost a legal battle in the High Court.

BNP called a daylong countrywide hartal on Sunday protesting what its leaders called “forcible eviction” of their leader. The house was earlier cordoned off by police and elite Rapid Action Battalion personnel.

The Supreme Court on November 10 adjourned till November 29 the hearing on Ms. Zia's leave-to-appeal challenging the High Court order that had upheld the government notice asking Ms. Zia to vacate the house within a month. However, the court did not stay the High Court order that upheld the government notice.

Earlier on October 13, the High Court declared valid the government notice asking Ms. Zia to vacate her house within a month. It ruled that the procedure through which the house was given to her was illegal.

The house has a controversial history as Ms. Zia's late husband President Zia-ur Rahman, who founded the BNP, was allotted the house while Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army in 1972. After his assassination in an abortive mutiny in 1981, the house was allotted to his widow on a “lease deed”.

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