Is hartal going to help? |
Abdus S. Wahed, Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh
The country observed another day of hartal. This time it was called by the lawyers in protest of the suicide bomb attacks in Gazipur and Chittagong. I completely understand the insecurity the lawyers are facing after the death of two judges and two lawyers. However, I do not see how the dawn-to-dusk hartal is going to help improve their security. One might argue that this would put pressure on the government to secure the court premises.
The reality is these terrorists are not killing anyone in particular. They started with the judges and lawyers. Let us assume that the government secured the court premises and gave adequate security for the lawyers. What are the terrorists going to do? Will they stop? No. They will start with new targets. They won't hesitate to kill even children. They don't care if it is lawyer, judge, man, woman or children they are killing. They are the enemy of humanity - enemy of you, me and all those who support democracy. Considering the police/people ratio in Bangladesh and the resource the police have, no government in Bangladesh will be able to secure our life from these derailed suicide bombers unless we general people help the government. How can we help?
We can keep an eye on our surroundings. In Bangladesh, we maintain good relationship with our neighbours. If we see someone around who doesn't seem familiar, we may try to know his whereabouts. At the least we can inform the police. These days cell-phones are everywhere. Any suspicious activity could be easily reported to police. In the countries like the US it is a common practice to report suspicious activities to police.
I admire those general public who caught the bombers in Chittagong and Chandpur. If we are more vigilant and keep a close watch on our surroundings, we will be able to resist/eradicate this ill power. A hartal or a boycott can only halt our resistance.