Wednesday, February 20, 2019 | ePaper

Please don`t forget they are our children and your children: Police must not abuse power

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Leaving out the alleged ruling party men involved in attacks on road safety, police have made students accused in cases filed over the last few days' violence in the capital. The complainants filed in all the 29 cases with 16 police stations mentioned that the attackers were unknown students, many of whom were in school and college uniforms, as per a local daily reports.

Twenty-seven cases have been filed against several thousand unidentified students and youths for assaulting police, damaging government property and obstructing law enforcers from discharging duties.

Two other cases were filed by an AL leader for attacking the party president's office in Dhanmondi. Alleged pro-AL men aided by police had pounced on demonstrators, prompting students to turn violent in some places including Jhigatola, Dhanmondi, Science Lab intersection, Uttara and Mirpur. Many of them were in helmets and some were carrying machetes. Some others were firing gunshots during running battles with the students. Besides, journalists covering the incidents and passersby were also beaten up.

A Dhaka court  placed 22 private university students on a two-day remand in two separate cases filed over vandalism and attacks on police. Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Abdullah Al Masud gave the order after officials of Badda and Bhatara police stations produced the arrestees before the court with seven days' remand prayer. The arrestees are students of East West University, North South University, South East University and Brac University.

Their lawyers said in the court that the detainees were tortured in police custody. Some of the students were arrested while they were returning home after classes. Police rejected the allegations. The students were later denied bail on Thursday and sent to jail.

We must say to the police-please arrest the correct individuals who are really guilty of assault and damage. The university students were simply peacefully protesting while the police lobbed tear gas shells, even inside the campus, and attacked them with rubber bullets along with men who were not in uniform.

The police should remember that the students are children of the nation. They can be misled or misguided but that does not in any way mean that heavy and high handed attempts to subdue them should be carried out. The students have the right to protest peacefully, as all reports indicate that they were doing, before they were provoked by police and unknown political activists. The Vice Chancellors of the private universities have pleaded for a general amnesty for the students before the Education Minister but he simply said that the law would take its own course. This is fine, but the police must remember that we are dealing with our own countrymen here, not aliens from another land. 

We shall repeat that police must not forget that the students are our children and your children so we cannot be unjust and abuse police power knowing the children are not motivated by irresponsible politics of the day. The government used police and others in civilian dress to attack our children.

The problem is the government finds conspiracy everywhere for fear of losing power as because the government has no popular base. It is the weakness of the government. The children were not interested in their selfish politics of remaining in power no matter at what price. We as a nation cannot be so unmindful of the need of our innocent children who are full of high dreams expecting our protection for their beautiful future.
These innocent children were initially praised by the government for their legitimate demands and assured them of fulfilling all their demands.

But later used violence against them, implicated them in police cases and sent some of them even to jail. This gross injustice is a national disgrace and no section of us can condone this. We want police to remain people's police as they must be. Politics be left for the politician to deal with according to their own chosen way.

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