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10th-Aug-2015

We want security of life –not just police cases

By Editorial Desk

All the media is filled with news of murder, rape and violence everyday. But the government appears helpless to do anything to protect life. Police are active after the event and then general demand is made from the people and the press for starting police cases for justice.
Yet another atheist blogger has been hacked to death by a group armed with machetes in Dhaka. Niladri Chatterjee alias Niloy was attacked at his home in the city's Goran area.
Larger investigation is necessary to know why killing has become so easy and police are not effective as a force of preventing such heinous crimes. Why should we need FBI from America to come when we have many competent intelligence agencies. They should have taken prior action to stop the planned murder of Niloy. It is the police version that Niloy was murdered as a part of the plan. There is something deeply wrong.
He is the fourth atheist blogger to have been killed this year by suspected Islamist militants in Bangladesh. He is said to have been critical of Islamic fundamentalism and other form of extremism and was even a voice of protest against discrimination.  
But what we do not understand is that in a moderate Muslim country like ours where religious harmony exists, why one has to be so concerned about extremism in Islam? To feel strongly about one's own religion, one does not have to be an extremist. What we have is political extremism.
Some people for political reasons are conspiring to paint Bangladesh as a country of religious fanatics. There are those in the government who find it is easy to be oppressive in the name of religious extremism.
A group identifying itself as Ansar Al Islam claimed the responsibility for the murder in an email sent to almost all media outlets. Dhaka Metropolitan Police Joint Commissioner Krishnapada Roy said it was a planned murder and bore the hallmarks of the previous murders of the other bloggers.
We are not sure if the real killers are using religion to divert attention from them. What we mean is that there should be an open-minded investigations. We condemn extremism of all kinds even that of atheism.  
It is misleading to describe anti-religious bloggers as secular bloggers. Secularism is not against religions. No kind of intellectual will find it rational to taunt other people's religion. Secularists are tolerant of all religions.
We are deeply saddened that Niloy was killed brutally, but so many others are also being killed brutally routinely. So it is not just an individual murder. An atmosphere of lawlessness and impunity has taken hold in our society. Every life is sacred and the state must provide full protection.
In our view we must not ignore the politics of intolerance and violence prevailing in the country if we really value life and its safety. We must have democratic politics of tolerance and the rule of law.
It is no consolation to start police cases when crimes go on increasing. The safety and protection of everybody's life is to be ensured. The government cannot escape responsibility for the failure to protect Niloy. In a killing for insulting religious sentiments both sides should be motivated to be reasonable and tolerant.
Our government needs right advice for governance and save police from being politicised.