The court has spoken.
BNP Chairperson and former prime minister Khaleda Zia has been sent to jail for five years after being found guilty in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case, with Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman and four others being given 10 years each and fines of Tk2.1 crore each.
It is now up to both political parties to respect the verdict of the court and move forward in a constructive manner.
As further legal responses to the verdict are anticipated and we hope for speedy approval of bail, which should be a routine matter in a case such as this, it is important for Khaleda Zia’s sympathizers to show restraint, patience, and respect for due process.
While it is understandable that BNP supporters are embittered, we do not wish for more vandalism, hooliganism, or violence in the streets which make a mockery of the judicial process.
The public has seen too much violence in the streets before, and it has never served in gaining good will for a political party.
Sadly, clashes have already broken out between BNP activists and law enforcement officers, with supporters directly attacking police personnel.
BNP has already announced its plans of further protests against Khaleda Zia’s conviction, claiming that the verdict was designed to keep her out of the upcoming polls, in spite of the mountain of evidence against her in the graft case.
We sincerely hope that all will eventually come to their senses, and let the judicial process run its course.
Indeed, no one, regardless of political clout, is above the law, and those found guilty must face the music.
Let us deal with the verdict with proper dignity, and refrain from any kind of behaviour that threatens a descent into anarchy.