The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on Wednesday concluded its token hunger strike in the city demanding the release of its chairperson Khaleda Zia, three hours before scheduled time following a request from law enforcers, reports UNB.

During the demonstration programme, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir demanded immediate release of the former prime minister, Khaleda, from jail.

"Our programme was scheduled to be held until 4:00pm but we are concluding it now following a request from the authorities concerned," Fakhrul told the gathering around 1pm.

"From this programme, we demand that our leader (Khaleda) be released immediately," he said.

Several hundred BNP leaders and activists began the hunger strike programme at 11:00am in front of the National Press Club amid presence of huge law enforcers.

As part of its countrywide programme, party leaders and activists, including Fakhrul, standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Moudud Ahmed, Mirza Abbas, Nazrul Islam Khan and Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, observed the hunger strike programme for three hours in front of the National Press Club.

Party leaders and followers chanted various slogans demanding Khaleda's release.

Pro-BNP lawyers, led by senior joint secretary of Jatiyatabadi Ainjibi Forum Sanaullah Mia, were observing a token hunger strike at Metropolitan Judge Court premises.

The BNP's different district and city units are observing similar programmes.

BNP leaders and followers formed a human chain in front of the National Press Club on Monday and staged a sit-in programme in front of party's Naya Paltan central office on Tuesday protesting at the jailing of Khaleda Zia by a lower court in a graft case.

A special court convicted former prime minister and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia and sentenced her to five years' imprisonment in the much-talked-about Zia Orphanage Trust graft case on 8 February.

She was then sent to the old central jail at Nazimuddin Road in the city.