The special court trying the Zia Charitable Trust graft case against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and five others set February 8 for delivering the verdict. The BNP had hinted on numerous occasions that they will take to the streets if the verdict is ‘politically motivated’.
However, the police have warned that any attempts to create unrest in the name of movement, centring the graft case verdict, will be met with a stern response.
Police high ups have confirmed that intelligence officials are working at the field level throughout the country to collect information on any possible attempts at creating unrest.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police (Dhaka Range) Chowdhury Abdullah AL Mamun told the correspondent on Saturday: “The police are always ready to tackle any situation.
“We also take special measures centring an eventful day or incident. We will collect intelligence from the field level centring the graft case verdict of Khaleda Zia. We will act as per the intelligence report.”
DIG of Sylhet range, Md Kamrul Ahsan concurred.
Speaking to the correspondent, the DIG said: “The court date for delivering the verdict of Zia Charitable Trust graft case is still weeks away. We will prepare according to our intelligence report.”
On the other hand, the BNP is also taking special preparations to react after the verdict on the graft case is delivered by a special court in Dhaka. A number of sources from the party stated that the BNP will launch a movement if a ‘motivated’ verdict is given by the court.
Commenting on the issue, Inspector General of Police AKM Shahidul Haque pointed out that the BNP should tackle any unexpected verdict against their chief Khaleda Zia only through legal means.
“Any attempts to create unrest in the country will be dealt with harshly,” he added.
The IGP made the comments while addressing a programme in the Mirpur area on Friday.
“The court will deliver the verdict, and the court does not take sides. The verdict will be delivered based on the testimony of the witnesses and the collected evidence. The defendants have the option to take the case to higher court, if they disagree with the verdict,” the IGP said at the programme.
“The BNP is a responsible political party, and they should mount a stronger legal defence if they delivered verdict is unacceptable to them. However, we will prepare for the worst,” added Shahidul Haque.
Sounding a note of caution at a programme on Friday (January 26), Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said: “The verdict on the graft case filed against Khaleda Zia is a matter for the court. We will show zero tolerance against any attempts to create unrest in the country.”
He further added: “The rule of law applies equally to everyone. If a person is guilty of a crime, he or she must be punished. We must not compare our security forces to its previous iterations.
“The police are a professional force with a serious responsibility to safeguard the people. They will not tolerate any attempts of creating violence or chaos.”
This article was first published on banglatribune.com