Monday, January 20, 2020 | ePaper

Minni as woman is entitled to bail in law as well as on humanitarian ground

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Recently there has been a dangerous escalation in crime and lawlessness in the country. Especially killing, raping and mass violence have spread all over the country causing panic among the people. Such crimes are surely acts of defying the government and law as because these are taking place mostly in broad day light.

A Chhatra League leader of Dhaka University unit was shot in his leg in front of Surja Sen Hall on the campus on July 20. Renu, a 42-year-old mother of two from Mohakhali in the capital, was among three people beaten and killed by separate mobs in Bangladesh on Saturday.

At least two other people have lost their lives and 25 others were injured as suspicion of child abduction following rumours continue to incite angry mobs across Bangladesh. The deaths took place on Sunday after lynching at Savar and Keraniganj in Dhaka earlier. An unidentified man in his mid-30s, who was beaten by a mob in Keraniganj last Thursday, died on Sunday night. Another unidentified woman in her late 20s was assaulted by a mob in Savar on Saturday and she died at the DMCH on Sunday. Police rescued six fishermen after locals in Naogaon beat them up when they were allegedly fleeing with sacks full of fishes stolen from the owner of a pond.

In Rajshahi City, angry locals beat up three people who were distributing chips among children as part of an advertising campaign of Rajshahi Agro Foods and Beverage. The mob also vandalised their car. At Dhutiya Dighir Par in Cumilla's Sadar Upazila, a woman and two men accompanying her were injured in a mob beating after they had asked a child to show them a toilet.

Meanwhile Priya Saha, one of the organising secretaries of Bangladesh Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad, told the US president that 37 million Hindu, Buddhist and Christian people have disappeared from Bangladesh. She was attending a programme at the White House on Thursday. Priya also told the president that her land had been grabbed by Muslim fundamentalists and sought his help so that Hindu, Buddhist and Christian people could live in Bangladesh. Despite such statements the PM ordered that no sedition case to be brought against her.

The spreading of lawlessness for committing dangerous crimes smacks of utter hopelessness among the people in their belief that the government do not have any meaningful control and raises disturbing questions about the effectiveness of the government's harsh police actions in the name of peace and order.

The government itself by using excessive police power created panic among the peace loving people. Only consideration was for the people in power to protect themselves in power through police power. The question of justice for the people was no consideration.

Those who know best know that to build a law abiding society the government itself first must strictly follow the rule of law in its actions. The power of the government must be based on law and not on bypassing law. The people must be free for seeking redress of wrongs of government officials under an impartial justice system.

Instead, the present government for the last eleven years pursued a policy of police power to be everything and the judiciary was kept under constant threat of not doing justice in accordance with the law. The lower judiciary has become an extension of the Law Ministry.

There judiciary was under fear granting bail in cases where granting of bail is the legal compulsion. Not only that the lower courts had to accept cases and  issue warrants of arrest by many courts in different places as the authority pleased where no more than one case  lies in law.

In the current case against Aysha Siddika Minni who was originally the principal witness suddenly has been made an accused in the murder of her husband in a Barguna case by obtaining a confession after confining her in police custody. Even if the confession is genuine, despite her father's statement that she was severely tortured in police custody for securing the confession, being a woman the lower court could easily grant her bail under the law. The law has made special provisions for such accused women. The government lawyers had to be listened to. Fear must prevail. But such acts do not inspire the people to have respect for law.

When we warned the authority, with honest intention, that the police must be used as law enforcers and not enforcers of the government's power politics, we were misunderstood. We tried to impress upon the authority that lawlessness of the government will create lawlessness in society. We were also pointing out what is universally accepted that a law is not law if the judiciary cannot decide independently how to protect the victims in accordance with the law. The law without independent judiciary is lawlessness.

The government had taken law into their hands undermining the judiciary, and others are now taking law into their own hands.

We shall still appeal to the authority to accept that the police repression will not contain the chaotic situation emerging in all areas of the governance. Trust in police has been destroyed by abusing police power politically. There is no trusted political leadership enjoying the people's confidence.

So we must think collectively how to bring sanity in the government to stem the tide of violence and public frustration for making life safe for all.

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