Ns News Online Desk: A judge in Bangladesh has convicted the opposition leader Khaleda Zia of corruption and sentenced her to five years in jail as police clashed with thousands of her supporters outside the court. The court found the former prime minister guilty of embezzling money meant for an orphanage, a charge she had consistently dismissed as politically motivated.
Zia, leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist party (BNP), is expected to appeal against the verdict, but it may affect her ability to stand in a general election slated for December. She was immediately taken to a special jail in the old part of the city where she must remain until her lawyers file an appeal. “This is a false and staged case. No way will we accept this verdict,” the BNP secretary general, Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, said after the hearing.
Zia’s lawyer, Khandkar Mahbub Hossain, said the ruling was “political vengeance” and would be overturned by a higher court. Violence erupted in major cities across Bangladesh at news of the guilty verdict, with BNP supporters clashing with police and activists from the ruling party.
Police fired rubber bullets at demonstrators in the north-eastern city of Sylhet, a spokesman, Abdul Wahab, said. At least four people were injured in the clashes, he added. Police said they had arrested at least seven BNP officials in the port city of Chittagong, including the local head of the party, after opposition supporters scuffled with police.
Before the hearing in Dhaka police fired teargas at thousands of opposition activists who defied heavy security to escort the car taking Zia to the magistrates court. At least five police officers had been injured and two motorcycles torched during clashes that broke out several miles from the court. Authorities have for days been on high alert for protests in the tense city, where political demonstrations by Zia’s center-right BNP and its Islamist allies in 2014 and 2015 left nearly 200 people dead.
This mentioned here that Both women emerged from political dynasties. Zia is the widow of Ziaur Rahman, a general-turned-president who was assassinated in 1981. Hasina is the daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the country’s first president who was assassinated in 1975, and who is the father of the nation.