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Bangladesh's opposition forms human chain protesting jailing of ex-PM Khaleda Zia

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Bangladesh's largest opposition party leaders and activists have formed human chains across the country protesting the jailing of its chief and also ex-Prime Minister Khaleda Zia in a graft case.

Hundreds of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leaders and activists gathered in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka on Monday morning.

They blocked the major road in front of the club carrying placards and banners inscribed with slogans demanding immediate release of 72-year-old leader who was found guilty of a corruption charge and sentenced to five years in prison Thursday.

Shortly after the verdict, Zia was taken to a jail in Dhaka.

The court also awarded 10 years of sentence to five others including Zia's son Tarique Rahman a fine of 21 million takas (250,000 US dollars) each.

BNP leaders said political vendettas are to blame for the cases against Khaleda Zia and her son.

"Our peaceful movement will continue until our leader is released from jail," said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir while addressing the human chain.

He reiterated his party's demand for a general election slated for 2019 under a non-partisan and independent election commission.

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