BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has called upon party leaders and activists to wage a tougher movement to ensure Khaleda Zia's treatment abroad.
"No other options are left for us than waging a tougher movement to free our party chairperson. She is being deprived of her rights," the senior BNP leader said during a protest rally held in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka on Monday morning.
"We will submit memorandums to the deputy commissioners of all the districts on Wednesday for the immediate release of Khaleda Zia and her treatment abroad," he added while urging other political parties, organisations to join the fight for the former prime minister.
"We can't waste time in giving speeches. This government has failed in all aspects," Fakhrul further said.
The BNP general secretary warned that they will come up with tougher programmes if their demands are not met soon.
BNP standing committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy echoed Fakhrul.
Terming the incumbent government "illegal" Gayeshwar said, "We want unconditional release of Khaleda Zia. Our party activists, supporters are ready to give their lives for their leader."
Nazrul Islam Khan, another standing committee member, said, "Even the doctors have said that she [Khaleda] must go overseas for proper treatment. There's no legal barrier here."
He went on to ask, "Then why is the government being so vindictive in this matter?"
Meanwhile, police charged batons on Chhatra Dal activists when they tried to bring out a procession near the Islami Bank Hospital in the city's Karail area after the protest rally concluded.
As part of their countrywide programme, Dhaka south and north city units of BNP arranged the rally to mount pressure on the government to let Khaleda go overseas for treatment.
The BNP has also complained of police obstructing their rallies in several districts outside Dhaka.
During a BNP rally in Khulna, the police dispersed protesters with baton charge, the BNP leaders said.
A number of BNP activists and journalists were reportedly injured during the standoff between protesters and police personnel.
In Natore, some 20 people were injured during clashes with the police in front of the party office in the city's Alaipur area.
In Barguna, Police arrested three activists from a rally held in the vicinity of the BNP office in the district.
In Sunamganj, BNP alleged police of preventing them from carrying out the protest rally.
In Barishal, there were reports of clashes between BNP activists and police, reports our local correspondent.
Earlier BNP lawmakers threatened to step down if their party leader is not allowed to go abroad.
The parliament members, forming a human chain in the capital on Sunday, also sought the intervention of President Abdul Hamid regarding the matter.
''Don't force us [BNP MPs] to leave the parliament. Our demand is just to ensure proper treatment for Khaleda Zia," Harunur Rashid, lawmaker of Chapai Nawabganj-3 constituency, told reporters.
Besides, on Saturday, BNP men observed a seven-hour mass-hunger strike across the country, including the capital, to realise their same demand.
The BNP chief landed in jail in February 2018 in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case. Later, on 30 October that year, the High Court extended her punishment to 10 years after dismissing her appeal. She is still facing at least 36 ongoing cases.
Following the outbreak of Covid-19, the government on 25 March last year granted her temporary release on conditions at the request of her family. Till now, the term of her release has been extended four times.
The 76-year-old BNP chief was readmitted to Evercare Hospital on 13 November, six days after she had returned home from the hospital.
Khaleda's physicians said she has been suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, ophthalmological and dental complications.
In April this year, she tested positive for Covid-19 and took treatment at home. Later, she was admitted to the same hospital. She tested negative for the deadly virus on 8 May.
Her family and BNP have been vocal since then to allow Khaleda to avail treatment outside of the country.
On behalf of the family, Khaleda's younger brother, Shamim Iskander, submitted an application to the home ministry on 11 November urging the government to allow her to go abroad for treatment.
But the government says she cannot leave Bangladesh as per the conditions of the temporary release.