The Yuen Long mob attack at the height of 2019 protests against the now-withdrawn extradition bill continues to divide society. To many, outraged by the brutality and lawlessness, the sentencing on Thursday of seven people – ranging from 3 1/2 years to seven years in jail, the longest terms for rioting to date – is justice well overdue. But the divisive chapter is far from over, especially when attempts to address unanswered questions still fall short of expectations. The polarised reaction to the ruling speaks volumes. Some people carrying a national flag who sat in the public gallery of the District Court cursed the judge after he had left the room. Others described the ruling as unfair, including the wife of one of the convicted, who told a press conference that her husband and others were merely “defending the homeland”. There are well-established appeal channels for the aggrieved parties. Rowdy behaviour in court does nothing for the administration of justice, and disputes should be settled within the judicial framework. Those who were attacked continue to take issue with the late response of police and wonder why masterminds behind the violent incident are still free. Most of the 100-strong white-clad mob who randomly hit protesters and commuters at Yuen Long MTR station with rattan and wooden sticks have not been arrested or charged. The violence of July 21 is seen as a turning point in the protest movement that later escalated into months-long civil unrest. A subsequent review of police handling of the incident by the Independent Police Complaints Council failed to clear the air. 7 guilty of 2019 Yuen Long MTR assaults jailed for up to 7 years The controversy deepened further when some opposition figures who had tried to restore calm after the attack were later charged with rioting. Tensions are bound to linger. Meanwhile, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor maintains that an extradition bill enabling the transfer of fugitives to the mainland and other places is more of a public relations matter requiring better explanation rather than a poor decision. Even though a full inquiry into the attack does not seem likely at present, the fallout still needs to be addressed. Until there is greater effort to narrow the political divide, moving forward will prove difficult.