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     Volume 4 Issue 52 | June 24, 2005 |

   Cover Story
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   In Retrospect
   Dhaka Diary
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Dhaka Diary

Bald and the beautiful
On one of those hot and sultry days, I was travelling by bus. Beside me a bald headed man was sitting and sweating uncomfortably. Suddenly, as the bus slowed down for a while on the road, a burkha-clad woman threw a leaflet through the window that landed on the bald man's lap. Well acquainted with the public transport system in Dhaka, where many leaflets and flyers acclaim the success of some quack doctor, he picked up the paper and without even looking at it, began to wipe his sweaty head. A wave of laughter suddenly shook the bus. The poor fellow didn't notice that the leaflet ink smeared his hair-less head when he had wiped out his sweat. Though I very much sympathised with him, I couldn't control a sheepish chuckle.

Mohammed Sohel Hara Olympia Palace Restaurant

Behind the bar secrets
A while back, I met a police officer from whom I got to learn a few happenings that go on at the police stations across the country. It seems that the drug-addicted prisoners are usually well supplied with heroin and other kinds of drugs in the jails! When asked why exactly this was done, the officer explained that these were supplied so that these prisoners would simply stay alive and not go crazy. Even the high officials get involved in supplying the drugs to the prisoners, since it is much too costly to get them into rehabilitation or provide them with proper medical attention. Now I can easily draw a line between these law enforcement people and big time hypocrites running our nation.

Jafrin Jahed Jiti VNC

The Stool Stalker
I am sure many of those living in Dhanmondi have faced the same ordeal as I had to face a week back. I was returning from my office in Dhanmondi around 6.45pm by a CNG taxi with a colleague of mine. At the traffic signal beside Rapa Plaza, a beggar dressed in skimpy closed approached me and asked for some money to buy clothes. I took out a Tk 2 note and handed it to him. He looked at the note, threw it back at my lap and took out a handful of faeces from his hand (supposedly to throw at me). Luckily, my colleague instantly threw a Tk 20 note at the guy while I was still thinking of my next move. The beggar looked at the note, smiled at us and left. We immediately complained to the traffic sergeant on duty but he blankly retorted that it was not his duty and we should lodge a complaint at the Dhanmondi Police Station. The same incident had happened to two of my colleagues on separate days where they were forced to give the same beggar around Tk 70-80 to avoid public shaming. My colleagues had complained and one of the Tahal Police on duty almost gave the same identical answer to them that "it is not their duty, affected persons should complain"!

My question is that if handling or overseeing the safety of dwellers is not the task of the police then what exactly do they do? Or are they regular benefactors from the daily earnings of the "Stool Stalker" like they do from other illegal earners?

Faisal Khair Chowdhury (Bobee) Gulshan-2, Dhaka


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