Stay calm, be alert to conspiracy
Ruling Awami League has urged the party men to stay calm following the lower court verdict that sentenced BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia to five years in jail.
“There is nothing to be excited over the judgment as it was delivered by the court, not by the government,” said AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader at a press briefing at party president's Dhanmondi office last night.
He also called upon the party leaders and activists to face any conspiracy smartly.
About BNP's holding rallies nationwide today and tomorrow in protest against sentencing the party chief, Quader, also road transport and bridges minister, said BNP's protest was against the court as the court had delivered the verdict.
He alleged that the BNP was trying to create chaos in the name of peaceful protest.
“The judgment in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case has proved that both Khaleda Zia and Tarique Rahman are corrupt,” Hasan Mahmud, AL publicity and publication secretary, said at another press conference at party president's Dhanmondi office.
“It is not a matter of our satisfaction or dissatisfaction,” he said, adding, “No one is above the law and that has been proved through the judgment.”
Law Minister Anisul Huq said the verdict proved that the rule of law prevails in the country.
“By delivering the verdict, our judiciary has once again proved that no one in the country is above the law, no matter how powerful he or she is," he said at his secretariat office.
It depends on the Supreme Court and the Election Commission whether she can contest the next national election slated for December this year, Anisul said in reply to a query.
According to the constitution, a person cannot contest an election if he or she is jailed for a minimum of two years for moral turpitude, the minister said.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said the government decided to keep Khaleda in the old central jail considering her age and social status as she is a former prime minister.
“She will get all the facilities as per the jail code,” he said while talking to reporters at the secretariat.
Asked whether Khaleda would be kept in this jail permanently, the minister said nothing was permanent. “We can move her, if necessary.”
Answering a question, he said the BNP could announce any agitation programme as the party was not banned.
“The law enforcement agencies are always alert and they have all-out preparations to maintain law and order in the country,” he said.
“Law and order across the country is normal, and there is no panic among the people centering the judgment,” he said, adding, "I didn't get any report of untoward incident in the country."
“Law is equal to all,” said Iqbal Mahmood, chairman of Anti-Corruption Commission which filed the case, while giving his reaction to the verdict at his Segunbagicha office.
Ruling alliance lawmakers in parliament hailed the verdict, saying that the rule of law had been established in the country through the judgment.
Talking on point of order, they also said the verdict proved that no one would be spared after indulging in corruption.
Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal lawmaker Shirin Akther said the judgment reflected “the expectation of the country's people.”
Lawmaker Nazmul Haque Prodhan, also general secretary of another JSD faction, said people had long been waiting for the verdict.
Bangladesh Tarikat Federation lawmaker Syed Nazibul Bashar Maizbhandari said the verdict was a “historic milestone” for the rule of law in Bangladesh.
AL lawmaker Fazilatunnesa Bappy said Khaleda was identified as a “cheat” and the verdict was “historic” and “exemplary” for establishing the rule of law and right of orphans.