The Daily Star

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Friday, October 12, 2012
Editorial

Editorial

Biased police action is undemocratic

Clear directives to avoid this should come from the top

Two photographs carried in the front page of this newspaper's Thursday issue present us with a dichotomy with regard to police action that is too starkly one-sided to be made a short shrift of. While one picture shows the police overlooking a Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activist loading his firearm on Rajshahi campus, the other picture shows them assaulting activists of Progatisheel Chhatra Jote on Wednesday who brought out a peaceful procession.

And this is not the first time we have seen police blatantly taking sides with one political party and using force on other political parties, preventing them exercising their lawful political rights. The police high-handedness towards opposition party activists during the BNP's March 12 rally is still fresh in anybody's memory. The impression is that police act as directed.

The direction must come from the top authorities for the police to act even-handedly, impartially and professionally. Institutions of the state exist to serve the ends of the state by protecting the citizens and caring for their right to dissent and free expression of opinion. However, over the years we have seen successive governments using the police force and other law enforcing agencies merely as their party tool.

Consequently, the lines between the party and the government, and the government and the state have been virtually obliterated. This is neither good for governance nor for rule of law. Above all, it is anachronistic to the fundamental principles of a functioning democracy.

Such manipulation of the police force can do nothing more than harm the government's credibility. When will the governments change their attitude?

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Back in '98 while I had been a student of DU and a resident student of Haji Mohammad Mohsin Hall, one day a fight broke out between two groups of BCL and I, along with some other students saw the armed cadres of our hall to take position in the hall gate. One of the cadres had a 303 rifle and he borrowed some bullets from one of the police men deployed in the hall gate just in front of us. The cadre was telling,' I'm returning you within a short time-- our supply is on the way.'

I still console myself thinking 'probably, what I saw was a hallucination! it can not be true and nobody will believe it' But after so many years when I saw the picture today the memory of that day has resurfaced again with all its original horror and typicality.

: anonymous

A country can not go ahead with such a poor state of law and order.

: Rokon

Comments

  • MD BASHIR
    Friday, October 12, 2012 07:18 AM GMT+06:00 (114 weeks ago)

    Chhatra league is now a new police force for Awami league government.

  • Scared Citizen
    Friday, October 12, 2012 03:29 PM GMT+06:00 (114 weeks ago)

    These are the days of the Police who were Chhatra League. Spare a thought for the coming days when present Chhatra Leaguers will become the Police.


 

 


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