Govt cannot respond in any other way than police action18 November 2016 Editorial Desk
Police and local administration are playing in most cases in the hands of the party men playing the role of spectators. Rape, killing and mugging are widespread while corruption and indiscipline in government offices are systematically destroying public institutions. People's confidence in the government is now at its lowest.
The attack on Hindu villages in Nasirnagar Upazila in Brahmanbaria on October 30 highlighted the terrible deterioration of public safety in organized attacks. Miscreants destroyed over 150 homes and around two dozen temples, besides shops and businesses. The attack continued over several days and many wondered why police and local administration remained silent at the beginning.
Expulsion of three local Awami League leaders close to local MP and Fisheries and Livestock Minister Sayedul Haque from the party for organizing the attacks has shrouded the incidence with mysteries. Hindu leaders and Chairman of National Human Rights Commission, among leaders of other socio-political organizations have blamed a faction of local Awami League for the attack with a view to evicting Hindus and grab their lands. The ruling party is however trying to implicate the opposition for the attack.
Meanwhile, a similar attack on Santal villages at Gobindagonj in Gaibandha district has made life of the ethnic minorities totally insecure there. Here again local influential persons linked to the ruling party are at work to grab their lands. Santals are demanding return of around 1800 acres of land from local sugar mills, which were earlier, acquired during Pakistan time and now leased out it to local parties.
Police have reportedly joined local influential groups and sugar mill staff to evict the Santals from their homes. Two Santals were already killed in police firing while three more are missing. Several Santals villages are now abandoned and their homes and cattle herd looted. Children are not going to schools fearing safety. There is hardly any visible initiative to give protection to them. Many believe this eviction drive is also pre-planned like the one at Nasirnagar in Brahmanbaria district.
In another incident, on November 14, four people were killed in police firing in Narsingdi's Raipura area when fights broke out between two local groups for control of local politics. Over 50 houses were torched and 10 looted while over 300 crude bombs exploded in the violence leaving at least 50 others injured.
On November 16 a man was killed and 10 other injured in a factional clash of the ruling Awami League at Balipara of Trishal in Mymensingh district and the cause was the same as to who will hold control over local politics. Petty party politics has already destroyed our social fabrics.
The killing was a sequel of long enmity between chairman of Balipara Union and President of Union Unit of Awami League and Convener of Union Unit of Juba League. Supporters of both groups attacked each other Wednesday following an altercation triggering the clash that left the man dead.
Another incident shows internee doctors at Rajshahi Medical College and Hospital have beaten relative of an old patient (70) on Friday. He was left unattended for several hours and when the relative protested, doctors gave him the beating. In another incident in the same hospital on Tuesday ugly internee doctors beaten relatives of a patient for neglect to treatment. The patient earlier died. At Dhaka Medical College Hospital on duty Ansars last month raped a disadvantaged girl. We don't know of any punishment to them.
Earlier media report said police arrested a small trader last week from a local market of Singair Upazila and detained him in custody for 22 hours alleging that he was involved in movement to bring down the government. He was later released on payment of Tk 25,000.
The hacking of Sylhet College girl Khadiza by a Bangladesh Chhatra League cadre for refusing his proposal showed how far man can become cruel. She is struggling now for survival at a Dhaka city hospital. The fact is that this unruly party cadre had attacked three other college girls on separate occasions.
Earlier another Chhatra League leader of Tejgaon College reportedly killed a girl student of Architecture of a University and there is no information that he has been charged for it.
For solving all these problems of causing public anxiety, the government appears to be incapable of responding in any other way than police action. The government is using police power to subdue opposition. The police did not allow BNP the largest opposition party to hold a public meeting on November 7. It is mistake to rely on police for political decisions.
But a government cannot be police power alone. All problems cannot be solved by police. The process in which our police are now overacting has put themselves in public trust deficit crisis and they are facing problems of their own creation.
No good governance is possible unless the government knows how to be responsive to popular grievances politically.