Police getting used to excessive aggressiveness20 September 2015 Editorial Desk
The Friday's Tangail police firing that left three people dead and 50 others injured have explicitly exposed the imbalance between command and control in our local police departments. Members of the law-enforcing agency indiscriminately fired on demonstrators who demanded exemplary punishment for a criminal for humiliating a youth and his mother centering around love affairs. Here, we find police intolerant of the mass people and improper use of firearms. Police now-a-days are not properly following the rules and regulations; instead some of the law-enforcers are irresponsibly showcasing power and audacity. The police department on Sunday withdrew seven policemen but withdrawing some police personnel or forming probe committees is not enough rather reformation in the department and training policemen should be emphasized.
According to media outlets, one Rafiqul of Saturia village in Ghatail upazila was harbouring a grudge against a youth of Atharodana village of the same upazila for having an affair with his wife. Rafiqul's family had asked the mother and son to come to his house, saying he just want to talk things out. As they came on Tuesday faced serious physical abuse and humiliation. At one stage, the mother and son were stripped and confined to a room. On information, police rescued the victims and arrested Rafiqul and his nephew Hafiz. Protesting the incident, hundreds of people from Atharodana, Hamidpur and several villages started a demonstration on Friday afternoon. Marching in processions, they went to lay siege to Kalihati Police Station. As they reached near about, police intercepted them and following an altercation, they baton-charged and fired teargas shells. Agitating locals threw brickbats, leaving three policemen injured that prompted policemen to lob teargas canister and shot fire.
Such incidences where police show excessive aggressiveness which claims many lives is not new but no reformation in the department has yet been accomplished. Rather police blame the masses of people for being impatient. Using lethal firearms to control mobs is old and barbaric while less-harmful equipment to control agitations is available.
The social discourse of the incident should not be marginalized as the incident angered people. The government must learn from the incident on how to train the police to not use lethal arms to control agitation. To control an angry mob by using less harmful and more sophisticated equipment should be introduced to the law-enforcing agencies. Besides, social, cultural and moral awareness must be restored to improve social resistance against all negative influences of alien cultural aggression where mass media, civil society and cultural fronts could play a vital role.