Saturday, April 11, 2020 | ePaper

Death in police custody is murder and violation of constitutional right to life

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On Tuesday night, police in Gazipur killed 40-year-old Yasmin Begum following her arrest from her residence after failing to find her absconding husband in a drug related case. She died in police custody.

Yasmin's son Jisan said about 4-5 men in plain clothes, who introduced themselves as DB officers, showed up at their home in Bhawal. Police, however, said they recovered 120 Yaba pills from Yasmin's possession but it was categorically rejected by her son.

Police and hospital authorities said Yasmin died in cardiac arrest, though her relatives found injury marks on her legs, arms and some other parts of the body. Evidence showed that Yasmin was killed in cold blood at a time when deaths in police custody and forced disappearances have become too much of a routine matter for the law enforcers.
In the field of politics the rule of law or free election has no value. The human rights NGOs earn money but many of them are for politics of dictatorship of socialism kind. We know that some foreign funded human rights NGOs are also doing good business with the government and have no interest in taking risk and fight for human rights. It is a misnomer to call such bodies as human rights bodies in Bangladesh. The people are so unfortunate.

Deaths in all forms are   easy and can go unpunished easily in Bangladesh. Deaths of others do not disturb the government. It is helpful to the government if the people remain in fear of insecurity of life.

To say the least, the country's human rights situation is precarious and some hugely profitable human rights NGOs are unconscionably inactive for biased political reasons. We have NGOs which are highly politically motivated for personal gain.

Our concern is that lasting damage has been done to the police by making them a political force of the government without duly elected to be the people's government. Thus the police are less law enforcers than enforcers of undemocratic politics. Our people have little faith in police as the people's police and not biased politically.

Like some politicians many police also think that they can do business with others, they can be used to steal election for the government and involve in corruption and crimes including rape. They are not afraid of political control about their misconduct because the government needs them for its own protection and survival.

The reason we are deeply worried is not because the recent death in police custody in Gazipur is unusual. The people have no voting rights and no political leadership for running the government. So everybody knows how helpless the people are.

Easy victims of abuse of police power are women. Irresponsible political leaders and police often act in collusion in committing crimes. The politicians have destroyed themselves by treating them as money making businessmen. They have earned the reputation of becoming extortionist of public wealth and not protectors of public interest. The banks have looted away and the country's economy is sinking. But the politicians find no problem in extravagant expenses to satisfy their personal whims. They are lavishly spending public money when the economic crisis is threatening stability.

We should caution the police not to become part of criminalised politics. They must remain friends of the people.
 Police should have known what the law is and what are the rights of the people under the Constitution.  Any death in police custody is murder and responsibility is inescapable. Protection of life is a constitutional right. Our politicised police seem to have no respect for law and the Constitution. We have to save the police for a civilised living in safety and security.

We urge all who belong to this country what the country we have built for our children.
Having no respect for human life and values of freedom cannot be culture of any civilised people. 

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