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Right to life must be protected politically

photo by NN Photo

Teachers and students of RU blocked the Dhaka-Rajshahi Highway on Sunday demanding exemplary punishment to killers of Prof Rezaul Karim Siddiquee.

By Special Correspondent
25th-Apr-2016       
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The killing of Rajshahi University (RU) teacher Prof AFM Rezaul Karim Siddiquee on Saturday just two hundred yards away from his home on way to the campus showed once again that people's life has no safety and security in the country at all levels. Killers are not fearful of government's ability to stop them. He is the fourth such victim of the RU teachers in twelve years. Three others were Prof Safiul Islam, killed on November 2015, Prof S Taher killed on February 1, 2006 and Prof Muhammad Yunus killed on 24 December 2004 in terrorist attacks. It shows that killers are not bothered whom they are targeting - be it the University teacher or a blogger or an Islamist. Five bloggers were killed alone in 2015 for their hate campaign.  Even students fall victims frequently to killers' knife or bullets in varsity campuses. Younger people are losing life all over the country as victims of violence of one kind or the other. Protecting life is the most basic political and constitutional responsibility of any government. It is not a matter to be shifted on police alone. A government accountable to the people gives priority to public safety above all. But life is being     lost every now and then in the country at home and outdoors while the government seems to consider that blaming others for killing is the complete answer from them. And it is the police to find out who have committed the killings and punish if they can. The fact is that in an undisturbed way and in open places the killers are killing men, women and children shows that something is seriously wrong for the government to establish authority for fighting the loss of lives and ensure people's safety. Let them not ignore that saving life is a political responsibility. Many observers who feel terribly disturbed for the situation where the government appear helpless to protect lives of peace loving individuals; want to make the distinction between responsibility of the government to protect life and the duty of police to find out killers to punish them. The nature of two responsibilities are distinct and different. Saving life cannot be the task of police alone. The safety of life and maintaining the law and order situation are to be achieved by politics by able political leadership. Confrontational politics cannot be helpful for peace and safety. The police have very little to contribute in creating sober and sensible political atmosphere in the country. To anybody of right thinking mind every life is very precious and must be protected. We are not interested in the debate whether IS outfits have carried out the murder or in the claim that IS has no presence in the country as the DMP Deputy Commissioner said. We want that whoever be the killers be put on trial. They must be brought to justice. But in the nature of politics of the country based on struggle to stay in power at any cost, the healthy political atmosphere is unthinkable. But we would like to emphasize that punishing the killers is the responsibility of police. But protecting the right to life is political and must be politically answered.  Whether the government can move politically to meet the political responsibility of protecting life is a big question. The people are anxious to see change in politics to be tolerant and accountable.

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