The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) observed on Wednesday a countywide token hunger strike, demanding the immediate release of its chairperson Khaleda Zia.
The leaders and activists of the major political entity also urged the government to ensure proper treatment for the former premier.
They went on the strike on the premises of the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh from 10:00am to 12:00pm as part of the nationwide programme.
BNP high-ups Khandker Mosharraf Hossain, Moudud Ahmed, Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, Moyeen Khan, Nazrul Islam Khan, Mirza Abbas and Selima Rahman took part in the strike.
Nitai Roy Chowdhury, Ahmed Azam Khan, Jainal Abdin Faruk, Amanullah Aman and former vice-chancellor of Dhaka University Dr Emajuddin Ahmed also attended it.
Addressing the programme, Mr Moudud urged the party rank and file to get ready for a bigger movement by the next one month.
A strong and organised movement is the only way to free Khaleda Zia from jail, he asserted.
"The High Court granted her bail, but the lower court magistrates have taken a delaying tactic due to the government's influence," Mr Moudud said.
He said, "It's clear that the government doesn't want Khaleda to be out on bail. I think it's not possible to free her through legal procedure."
Addressing the party workers, the BNP heavyweight said the ongoing movement has to be reinvigorated to overthrow the government.
"The BNP will declare such a programme that will wash away the boat (electoral symbol of Awami League) of the government," he mentioned.
The former minister said, "We don't have much time... only one month is left. Get prepared for a bigger movement to oust the current [undemocratic] regime."
Khandker Mosharraf said the democracy of the country will not be free without the release of Begum Zia.
"Without her, there will be no participatory election in the country and won't be allowed to arrange one (election)," he uttered.
Mr Mosharraf dropped a hint that the BNP will participate in the polls after freeing its supremo.
The BNP veteran demanded dissolution of parliament before announcement of election schedule, reformation of Election Commission, formation of a neutral poll-time government and army deployment during polls.
The major opposition party observed the hunger strike countrywide on the same demand for the unconditional release of its imprisoned chairperson.
On Monday, party men and sympathisers formed a nationwide human chain to press for the same demand.
Khaleda Zia landed in old Dhaka's central jail on February 8, 2018 after a special court awarded her five years in jail in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
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