It is in the media that the Anti-Terrorism Unit (ATU) of the police along with 600 officials and members has been sitting almost idle for nearly two years as its operational rules are yet to be framed. They have hardly any operational duty. Many were sent to commando or bomb disposal trainings in past few months while the senior officials were mostly busy imparting training or in community engagement programmes. Since its formation, the ATU personnel had been stationed at a rented house at Baridhara diplomatic enclave.
It's learnt that the set of rules for ATU are now at the Law Ministry for vetting. Chief of ATU, Additional Inspector General of Police Abul Kashem said the unit officials were busy receiving training as they awaited government approval for a submitted future plan. Though the operational rules are yet to be approved, the ATU officials started small-scale operation at field level since May by arresting a suspected member of banned outfit Hizb ut-Tahrir in Dhaka on May 9. The unit has so far announced six operations and arrested six members of Ansar-al Islam and four members of Hizb ut-Tahrir.
As far as we can see there is no special unit for fighting terrorism as there is no terrorism in the true meaning of the term.
We are of firm view that every violence is not terrorism. The government is being advised by power hungry elements in the government to suppress dissent and remain in power. In the process the people are given a bad name as being infested with terrorists.
The bad policy of the government is heading the country towards lawlessness. But that is not 'terrorism' needing a special unit to fight.
The government is finding terrorists and killing them without trial in court. Whether they are police or not, we expect our officials who are public officials, to think rationally and judge the situation as experts.
We have no political leadership only business of corruption. So the nation has to rely on expertise of public officials to agree to do what is best for the country. The public servants cannot do other than what is good for the people. This is freedom and free country are all about.
We cannot have an expensive anti-terrorism unit but the government needs such one for its own political safety. As citizens of a free country it is everybody's responsibility to see that public money is not wasted to foil peace and security of the people under the guise of false needs of fighting terrorism.
We do not need special unit to fight terrorism that does not exist. The law and order situation is terrible. But such a situation has to be tackled by competence of the government and not by gun power of an inefficient government. The government appears completely ignorant about the constitutional mechanism for maintaining law and order. This deficiency of political leadership cannot be redressed by special anti-terrorism unit at a heavy financial drain on the near broken economy.
Editor: A.M. MUFAZZAL, Managing Editor: ARSHAD HOSEIN.
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