Tuesday, October 16, 2018 | ePaper

Commentary

Politics is criminalised but we can't have govt machinery criminalised

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Editorial Desk :
It was a well-orchestrated plan, executed through abuse of state power, a special court has ruled, delivering verdicts in the two cases filed over the grenade attack on an Awami League rally 14 years ago. And all the accused, including BNP Senior Vice- Chairman Tarique Rahman and former top intelligence officials, were found guilty and handed down various punishments for the bombing that killed 24 people and injured scores.
In the murder case, Tarique and 18 others were sentenced to life in prison while former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar           
and 18 others were given death penalty on charges of killing through criminal conspiracy. All of these 38 accused were also sentenced to life term imprisonment for causing grievous injuries to the survivors.
The Special Court also found Tarique, Babar and 36 others guilty in the case filed under the Explosives Substance Act and handed down punishments ranging from death sentence to 20 years in prison. The conviction of these once influential politicians, former top officials of police, DGFI, NSI, CID and top HuJi militants exposes the meticulously-devised plan and abuse of state machinery to not only carry out the attack, but also to mislead the investigation.
The verdict clearly shows how a political party which was elected in a free and fair election, can abuse the power for killing the opposition political leaders in a fit of madness of few individuals. But what is most appalling is that certain highly placed government agencies could also be brought in to help commit crimes of killing. Very important government agencies like DGFI and NSI were involved in the criminal operation.
This is the problem with any government. It has the potential to abuse the state institutions for its own power and benefit. In this particular case the intent was diabolical, to remove all the top leadership of one party in one fell swoop to ensure that they would never come to power again. It was arguably a more brutal way than simply staging fake elections, or suppressing the opposition and civil society through fake cases.
The lesson to be learnt here is this: the state machinery, collaborate with anti-people criminal activities of criminalised politics then nothing remains of statecraft for saving society or upholding values essential for civilised living. Massacre caused by grenades in a broad daylight is most shocking both for the aim of eliminating Awami League leadership and also for involvement of important officials of very important government agencies.
What worries us most is criminalisation of powerful intelligence agencies of the government at the instigation of, as facts given in the judgement, Tarique Rahman who was not even a state minister but was able to organise such a dangerous crime with the help of government officials.
The present political crisis of election management by government officials is also most frustrating for the people whose money has made their lives so comfortable. But public life is insecure, public money is spent to buying loyalty of the public servants against the people. It is so sad that the people are feeling threatened by their own police. If they behave more like party workers of the government how then they justify being police of the people?
We all have to think seriously if we mean to love this country how to prevent the state machinery to be used by anti-people party thugs of government in power.

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