BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia had a quiet start to her second day in prison.
She had bread, vegetables and egg for breakfast in her cell at the old central jail around 8:00am yesterday. She hardly spoke to the any of the on-duty jail officials.
Khaleda was given the option of going out for a stroll in the sprawling garden at the back of the cell on the ground floor of a two-storey building. But she chose to stay inside the cell once used as the office of the jail superintendent.
She spent most of the time reading newspapers, according to jail sources.
For lunch, the BNP chief had rice, vegetables and fish. She also told jail officials that she likes papaya juice and also dishes of green papaya, the sources added.
Around 4:20pm, four of her family members met her at the jail and stayed there for about an hour. They, however, did not talk to the media.
About half an hour later, Jail Superintendent Jahangir Kabir sent text messages to a number of media outlets, saying Khaleda's brother Shamim Eskander, sister Selima Islam, sister-in-law Kaniz Fatema and nephew Avik Eskander met her at the prison.
One of the jail sources said Khaleda became emotional when the four met her, and she was in tears.
The BNP chief was brought to the prison on Nazimuddin Road on Thursday afternoon after a special court sentenced her to five years' rigorous imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case.
Towhidul Islam, deputy inspector general (prison), said a doctor conducted a medical check-up on her yesterday morning and found her to be in good health.
The BNP chief is getting all the facilities enjoyed by a first-class prisoner, he said.
Asked about her daily routine, Towhidul said they provided her with newspapers and a television in the cell, and if she wants to read any book, they will get it for her.
The jail authorities have employed a female house help, a physician and a nurse to take care of her round-the-clock.
Counsels for the BNP chief on Thursday claimed that the special court had given approval to their plea for allowing Khaleda's house help Fatema Begum to stay with her in the cell.
However, the jail authorities yesterday said they were yet to receive any court order in this regard.
Earlier in the morning, Bithika Binte Hossain, wife of Swechchhasebak Dal president Shafiul Bari, and Rawshan Ara, wife of Dhaka south Swechchhasebak Dal president SM Jilani, brought fruits for Khaleda. But the on-duty police personnel sent them back as they failed to get permission from the jail authorities to meet the BNP chief.
Around 3:00pm, three BNP leaders -- Arifa Jesmin, Rehana Talukder and Umme Kulsum Begum Rekha -- also went to the jail to meet Khaleda but were sent back by police.
Law enforcers have put three barricades on Nazimuddin road and suspended vehicular movement on the road since Thursday morning. The shops in front of the jail gate were found closed yesterday.
Seeking anonymity, one of the jail officials said they were making preparations to shift Khaleda to the day-care centre next to the two-storey building where she is kept now.
The authorities already renovated the building, which has remained empty since prisoners were moved from there to Keraniganj jail in July, 2016. But it is yet to be furnished.
Five female guards from Kashimpur women's jail were brought to the old central jail to provide security to Khaleda. They are under the supervision of Deputy Jailer Shirin Akhter.
Another Deputy Jailer, Md Ashraf, is in charge of the 25 security guards outside her cell.