Monday, January 22, 2018 | ePaper

Commentary

`Every citizen shall have the right, to be secure in his home against entry...`

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There cannot be a law-abiding society if police feel free to act lawlessly. We are sure we have responsible police officers who will agree with this reality. For remaining in power people can become so blind that they do not know when they dig their own grave.

We have to save our police as law enforcers and not as law abusers especially when the law is abused to serve politics. Police must not try to be politicians. Those who provide leadership in police it is their responsibility to protect the police by being strict about the role of the police.

It is a fundamental right of every citizen to be secured 'in his home against entry, search and seizure'. Search right is subject to reasonable restriction created by law. This means no law unreasonable can even be passed for allowing police to enter anybody's home. Only in a police state nobody has any security against police power. They are not for giving the people the protection of law.

Every police officer must know the fundamental rights of the people guaranteed by the Constitution, as the country's supreme law. They must be respectful to the Constitution if they want the respectability of a free country. As law officers, the police must be respected by the ministers as well. The ministers cannot ask police to abuse the law. It is his fundamental right that every citizen shall have the right to be secure in his home against entry, search and seizure.

It is to be expected that different sections of the people became highly critical for the police entering the house and disrupting a gathering of prominent citizens of the country.

The police raid on a tea party arranged by former lawmaker and Minister in Sheikh Hasina's first term government ASM Abdur Rab at his Uttara home to disperse the party on the ground that police permission was necessary for such a get together. This is nothing short of lawlessness on the part of law enforcing police.

The guests at the party included Bikalpadhara Chief and former President of the Republic AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury, Krishak Sramik Janata League (KSJL) chief Kader Siddiqui and Nagorik Oikyo Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna, Biplabi Workers Party chief Saiful Haque, Ganaforum presidium members Subrata Chowdhury and AOM Shafiullah, Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (BaSaD) General Secretary Khalekuzzaman and leader Bazlur Rashid Firoz, JSD General Secretary Abdul Malek Ratan, Bikalpadhara Joint Secretary General Mahi B Chowdhury and General Secretary of Citizens' Platform 'Sujon' Badiul Alam Majumder.

Nobody will say that those who were present at the party were rowdy elements or a threat to peace What cannot escape public notice is that a former President of the country AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury was a guest also. The police officers should have shown some respect. The police officers who could not show respect to a former President, they will have no difficulty being disrespectful to a former Prime Minister.

Other than saying that they have orders from the high-ups, nothing more was said. The question can be raised, if our police are police of a free country, or whether we are citizens of a free country. Police are to give us security so that we can live safely at home and outside.       

The full story is -- initially a police sub-inspector entered the house on the pretext of wanting a glass of water and then asked to shut the meeting referring to an order from higher authorities. The host told him that none of his guests present there would move or disperse. He sent the police officer away. But the officer returned within half an hour, walking directly into the drawing room and told them to end the meeting. ASM Abdur Rab asked who had sent him to stop them from getting together. Upon receiving no answer, he told the police they could arrest anyone if they so desired, otherwise the police would have to leave then and there.

Such an action on the part of police has set a very disturbing precedent. The truth is that country belongs to us all, the police are to serve the people and keep them safe against law-breakers. Who is that high up must be known. Whoever he is, no police officer, who is conscious of his responsibility to law will be so blind about orders.

When police are used to act lawlessly, even the high-ups in police must know that they are encouraging lawlessness in others. In a free country, if police are not conscious of rights and obligations, none of us shall remain safe from lawlessness. We want our police not to be a force of lawlessness in the country.

Somewhere in the government madness is prevailing.

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