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Police’s brutal ferocity can’t be stopped by an unpopular regime

Written By: Nazmul
17/02/2016 18:49
Police Brutality

The father of the modern British police, Sir Robert Peel, must be turning in his grave to learn about the brutal ferocity and nefarious unlawful activities of some members of the Bangladesh police. Serving twice as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Sir Robert was of the view that the police are members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties in the interests of community welfare.

When 148 people were killed in “crossfire” and in the custody of law enforcers, as it happened in 2015, it may not be an overstatement to aver that our People’s Republic under the present Awami League regime is being transformed into a de facto police state where a government exercises its authority arbitrarily through the power of its law enforcing agencies. According to the human rights watchdog Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) report dated 30 September 2015, claiming 107 lives, the “crossfire” incidents involved police 55 times, Rapid Action Battalion 32 times, police and detectives 11 times and other agencies nine times. []

A tea shop owner, Babul Matubbar, 45, who sustained burn injuries as a police informant hit his kerosene stove causing the fire, died at Dhaka Medical College Hospital on 5 February, the Dhaka Tribune, the Independent, The Daily Star and the New Age reported. Babul was admitted to the burn unit in a critical condition as 95 per cent of his body was burned following the incident that took place in the capital’s Mirpur area as the victim declined to pay him toll.

Babul’s son Monir Hossain Raju said that before dying, his father had managed to identify Sub-Inspector Shreedham Chandra Halder and a police informant named Delowar Hossain as some of those involved in the attack. Apart from blaming the police for being directly involved in setting fire to Babul’s body, the family also criticised the police’s role in the aftermath of the incident. They claimed that the police had denied severely injured Babul medical treatment and detained him at the police station for around an hour, before finally letting him go.

Babul’s son Raju said that the death of his father was a part of conspiracy as Babul had long been protesting the drug trade of one Parul, who operated her business beside the tea stall owner’s house in Block H of Mirpur 1. Babul had asked Parul – who lives beside his house – to stop her drug trade in the area as the addicts regularly came to his tea stall looking for cannabis and even went inside his house, threatening the safety of his daughters. Raju added that Parul and her associates had threatened his father, saying the police would never come to his aid as the drug dealers had a good arrangement with the law enforcers.

While the National Human Rights Commission Chairman Prof Mizanur Rahman said a man had to die because of “outrageous and illegal” activities of police. “It’s a shame for the whole nation. The outrageous behaviour of police has reached an excessive level”. Although police officials initially denied any involvement of the force members in the death of the tea vendor, five policemen of Shah Ali Police Station —- Dhiman Chandra Howlader, Mominur Rahman Khan and Niaz Uddin Molla, ASI Debendra Nath and constable Jasim Uddin—-were closed.But Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal claimed that no police members were involved in the incident.

Just a few weeks ago a police officer beat up and severely injured Bikas Chandra Das, a City Corporation officer; and Golum Rabbi, an officer of Bangladesh Bank, was physically tortured by Masud, a sub-inspector of DMP and his team.

Police is the function of that branch of the administrative machinery of government which is charged with the preservation of public order and tranquility, the promotion of the public health, safety, and morals, and the prevention, detection, and punishment of crimes. [Vide Black’s Law Dictionary and http:/]. One abbreviation on the Internet depicts them as individuals dedicated to “Protection Of Life In Civil Establishment”; regrettably, in our milieu their conduct and dealing with the public are miserably at variance with what is expected of them as per recognised principles and standards.

An unpopular and reviled semi-elected government, like a toddler, fears its own shadow; so is the case with this regime, whose 154 MPs were not elected, and hence not accepted by at least half of the body politic. This is why it resorts to suppress and repress the opposition through the law enforcement agencies giving them unlimited liberty so they can act with impunity, and without accountability.

The remedy lies in complete policy reversal, which means inflexible exemplary punishment, which an unpopular, undemocratic government can never do, unfortunately.

From Weekly Holiday, 12.02.16


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