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Safety by police escort is denial of safety to others

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By MAINUL HOSEIN
03rd-Feb-2016       
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Police authorities are busy and anxious giving assurances about safety at the Ekushey Book Exhibition being held in the capital. It sounds unfair that it is for the police alone to take the whole burden of safety and security.The officers are asked to offer the impossible of providing police escort to some individual writers for their coming to the Book Exhibition. In Bogra a girl student has been provided police escort for going to examination centre. It is normal for the government high-ups to enjoy visibly special police protection. So politics is over stretched. As if the police have become police for the chosen ones and not for the general public.It is not denied by the police authorities themselves that some police are getting involved in committing grave crimes. There is also little police protection against crimes committed by many others with political links. In Rajshahi a banker has been abducted by miscreants in day time from a tea stall. It is a matter of painful concern that children are killed allegedly for ransom money and killing of children has gone up. Threat of cross-fire is used for committing crimes both political and penal. Yesterday, a daily published a report showing graphically the extortion of money by police from buses and trucks at night in different check posts of Dhaka. The indisciplined police are more dangerous than dangerous criminals. So our concern is how the police should be saved. Some of the police officials are so confident of their impunity that they are emboldened to harass university female students as well. An SI of police was suspended for sexually harassing a student of private university.There were cases when court's intervention was called for to initiate criminal investigation into alleged police participation in serious crimes. The highest court's order became often necessary to accept FIR by police. For sure, there are disorder and political pressure hindering police to act as impartial law enforcers.Safety through police escort to individuals and groups is an admission of political failure to attain safety in the country. The present idea of police management is bureaucratic and not political at all. Besides, safety by police escort is denial of safety to others who are not so privileged. It is unfortunate that the government cannot see how increasingly difficult the running of the country is becoming for it. The security situation is going out of control and uncertainty about security is hampering economic activities also. Extortion has become a regular source of income for some. But the government appears incapable of changing its ways to establish good governance. Another dangerous sign as reported in the media is that illegal arms are recovered from time to time. Last Monday a large number of fire arms including anti-aircraft missiles were unearthed. It is apprehended by the official source that these weapons were stocked by Indian insurgents known as Ulfa. We have yet to know if such dangerous weapons have not been kept hidden by others in other places. This is not government's success in fighting terrorism when the people are in constant fear of their safety and police help is unsure. Anybody can do any crime to anybody including killing and there is no guarantee that guilty persons will not be able to buy their escape. The political tolerance or free debate does not kill anybody but they are essential for people's cooperation in organising peace and safety in a society. We are not all selfish and brutal.But there is too much intolerance for the political opponents and angry polarisation of the people. To be sure, social tranquility cannot be achieved by police power, contrary is true.The government's pressure to make bail difficult will help the police to confine anybody without the urgency of proving the allegations openly in court. This will render police more irresponsible about accountability for discipline. In our view the politicisation of police has largely contributed to police indiscipline. Besides, if the judiciary or the police could alone be fully effective for maintaining law and order in all circumstances, then so much importance would not have been attached to the need of having a people's government. Any political leader will appreciate the importance of the judiciary and police to be kept out of political interference.No matter how many more police are recruited police will not be able to make us safe if politics remains intolerant and violent. The more police may also cause more indiscipline and more abuse of police power. To run a country is not a simple matter of easy talks amenable to simple solutions. Much damage has been done to police for using them against political opponents. It is agreed that where the people are helpless there is more need of a strong judiciary. In the prevailing situation of police fear and their abuse of power the judiciary is the only beacon of hope against break down of law and order more openly and terribly.The truth is we are not seen particularly as a brave people for upholding the values of greater good to greater number. Duplicity and courage do not go together. To be easily sold is not courage or dignity. It is for the safety of all that we express our deep anxiety so insistently and so intensely. We want a society where every life is worth saving whether in power or out of power, whether one is privileged to enjoy police escort or not. Our people are so unlucky that they have continued to be powerless despite their immense sacrifices for securing a free Bangladesh. The people are living in fear and uncertainty for being denied to be the master of their own destiny. It is a shame to be betrayed by their own ones.

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