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Our police must be ours and not a hammer of party politics

By Editorial Desk
12th-Sep-2018       
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Luthful Haque was treated at Labaid Hospital in the capital's Dhanmondi for seven days from August 4 for hypertension, diabetes and kidney complications. His condition was so bad that he was taken to Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and High Dependency Unit (HDU). Though he returned home on release from hospital on August 11, family members say he is still ill and cannot move without the help of others as he is 82. Luthful received treatment and paid a bill of Tk 1,27,865. He was admitted to Cabin No 560. Three nurses who attended him backed the family's statement about his ailment, as per a local media report.

Yet police found him among a group of "miscreants from the BNP and its front organisations who gathered in Wari on September 3 as part of a plan to overthrow the government". Luthful is one of the 96 who are accused in a case for "assembling" at Bangladesh Boys Club playground on RK Mission Road to carry out "subversive activities", as per the report.

The case also named BNP's ward-level leader Sabbir Ahmed Arif as an accused although he was not in the country when the incident allegedly took place. His visa, immigration and hotel documents, boarding passes of his flights to and from Kolkata show that he was in India from September 1 to 4, as per media reports. Sabbir is accused No 13 and Luthful alias Abdul Latif is No 51 as per the case document.

Yet the report states that no one living or playing on the playground saw or heard any such activities by the BNP activists taking place on that day. Even the nearby shopkeepers said that they didn't hear or see any such activities. When contacted neither the complainant SI Utpal or OC of Wari Thana made any comment.

Two things are possible from the statements presented -- if they are true. One is that since the complaint is so visibly lacking in proof the complainant made the case statement to extort quick money from the accused, betting on the fact that they were opposition leaders and as such would hardly be victims of sympathy from the administration.

The other possibility remains that the administration is using the police as a hammer to harass the opposition leaders ahead of the national polls.
Whatever the reason, such cases involving persons who are blatantly innocent -- at least of the crimes in the case statement, is nothing but a disgrace for our security personnel. It indicates that cases are made at the whim of the administration and as such are a clear violations of the security provided to ordinary citizens by the Constitution. Just because one has a hammer doesn't mean everything has to be looked at as a nail.

Our police must be ours and not political hammer of party politics. They are police of a free country and they must know how to hold high their sacred position as law enforcers for the protection their people.

It is not enough to have a free country if the police and other public officials, maintained with public money, are not faithful to their obligations of a free country. Nobody in government service can behave like colonial days, they are honourable public servants. Government changes government comes -- that is politics. But the police and other public servants are trusted to remain permanently unaffected by politics. So they must remain above politics not to be victims of politics.

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