Dhaka, 14 Feb, Abnews: BNP has called off its symbolic hunger strike in Dhaka demanding the release of its chairperson Khaleda Zia, three hours ahead of its scheduled time following a request from police.
Before ending the programme abruptly, BNP genral secretary Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir demanded immediate release of their chairperson from jail.
Earlier today, BNP leaders and activists are staging a hunger strike in the city demanding release of their party chief Khaleda Zia.
Hundreds of BNP men took position in front of the Jatiya Press Club since 10.00am, and the hunger strike will continue till 4.00pm.
BNP leaders Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Moudud Ahmed, Nazrul Islam Khan, Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, Chowdhury Kamal Ibne Yusuf, Nitai Roy Chowdhury and ZM Jahid Hossain have joined the programme amid tight security by police.
On Thursday a Dhaka court sentenced BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia to five years of rigorous imprisonment and fines her Tk 2 crore for financial irregularities in the Zia Orphanage Trust.
The makeshift court delivered the verdict amid tight security. It also awarded 10 years of imprisonment to five others including her son Tarique Rahman.
Khaleda was present in the court at the time of pronouncing the verdict.
The court also fined Tk 2.10 crore each in the politically significant case ahead of the parliamentary election.
After Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad, Khaleda is the second head of the government convicted in a graft case.
On 25 January, the court fixed 8 February to announce the verdict in the Zia Orphanage Trust Graft case.
The Anti-Corruption Commission filed the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case on July 3, 2008 with Ramna Police Station accusing Khaleda, her eldest son Tarique Rahman, now living in the UK, and four others of misappropriating over 2.10 crore that came as grants from a foreign bank for orphans.
Four other accused are former BNP MP Salimul Haq Kamal and businessman Sharfuddin Ahmed, former principal secretary Kamal Uddin Siddique and Mominur Rahman, nephew of late President Ziaur Rahman.Kamal Uddin Siddique and Mominur Rahman have long been absconding.