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People`s police should be life savers and savers of humanity

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By MAINUL HOSEIN
16th-Oct-2016       
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`Whoever saves one life, saves all of humanity`.

The aforesaid verse is common to religions of the Muslims and the Jews and quoted in the Holy Quran has found place for the first time on the cover of the international weekly TIME.

The said verse used as the motto of the humanitarian organisation called White Helmets who are working in Syria to save lives in most risky situations.

They were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize though they did not get it but the weekly praised them for their humanitarian work. Since we value our commitment to the cause of saving life, we reproduced the magazine TIME's cover on our front page on Wednesday with the message it contained.

We believe that as Muslims the motto of our police should be more appropriately : We save lives for saving humanity.

The use of police in communist countries should not have any relevance in our country where the people fought and suffered to protect their rights about safety and honour of a free country.  When Georgia broke away from the grip of communism under Soviet Union, the first thing the new Georgia required was to reform urgently the country's police. Hundreds of police officers (1600) were purged and punished for abusing their power politically under the communist dictatorship.

Georgia has not become a democracy yet but the country is much less oppressive and the interest of the Communist Party is not considered the sole priority because thinking in police has changed to a large extent.
We are living in conditions in which the people suffer from a general sense of fear, not just from terrorism but all kinds of violence and abuse of power. We have violent deaths side by side we have extra-judicial killings. Such a situation offers no assurance of safety of life or peace of mind.

Our fight should be against all crimes and every fear of uncertainty. Our roads are not safe because of the freedom enjoyed by armed snatchers and extortionists. Women have become easy targets of assault and murder by unruly young ones.

There is declining security situation at all levels, the reason being the police are failing to act as the people's police. The special groups think police are for them and they must be obeyed.

It is not understood why our best efforts should not be to catch the terrorists alive, to know everything about their activities. There is no justification for cross-fire killing, there is also no justification for secret arrest without any court warrants.

In the back drop of the government's claim of fighting terrorism, the people must know who are the terrorists and who are we fighting?  

We want to see our police most diligent to keep and protect their sacred image as the law enforcers and life savers. Police must not be politicised to be seen as political workers. 

We have no politics in the country except self-serving power struggle. What is needed for the people is to have the people`s police caring for the people.

They must care to justify publicly each killing for their good professional image. Justification of recent killing of 12 persons found staying in different houses is terribly difficult. It was easy to sedate them for arresting them safely and alive.

We still have a Constitution that prohibits taking life without due process of law. We have a fairly strong justice system to punish terrorists through speedy trial. It is a bad example for others that police as law enforcers can kill people freely.

Life is unimportant to the terrorists but the police are respecters of law and life. They have to hold their high position of constitutional and moral authority for the safety of us all.

In the fight against terrorism, the whole nation -- political leadership, law makers, police, judiciary, press and general public should play their part severally and jointly. It cannot be exclusive responsibility of the police.

But all expressions of violence are not terrorism. We must not help terrorism to grow for the short-sighted politics of power struggle. Fighting terrorism cannot mean creating fear of police among the general public for political convenience of the few. We must be careful of not to attract international terrorism.

If we are wrong, we are wrong but we must say what we honestly believe that terrorism is not yet a big enough problem for us. We need to show leadership, bold and broad enough, to live together peacefully.

Terrorism takes advantage of the politics of in-fighting and antagonism. The best way to keep terrorism at bay is for the leaders to keep the people united against terrorism. Nobody says that police action alone can stop terrorism for the simple understanding that terrorism is political.

It is a good sign that Human Rights Commission has taken a bold stand on secret arrest by police. Arresting without warrant is illegal and the Chief Justice has warned against it. Fear is slavery and not freedom. We must defeat fear to win freedom.

If we ourselves make life of our people unsafe and insecure then we are not fighting terrorism, we are rather helping terrorism to gather strength. It may take time, but terrorism will return with vengeance. We cannot ignore the political side of war against terrorism. 

The people of a free country are most unlucky if the police are not friends of the people. It is also not honourable for the police if they are not loved as friends of the people. 

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