Friday, September 25, 2020 | ePaper

Commentary

The incident is not isolated: We demand joint investigation into easy crossfire killing

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Editorial Desk :
Chief of Army Staff General Aziz Ahmed and Inspector General of Police Benazir Ahmed on Wednesday told a joint press briefing that the easy killing of retired Major Sinha Mohammad Rashed Khan, killed in police firing, is a stray incident. The top brass of the forces also said the incident would not jeopardize the relation between the army and police.
While it is very nice to hear that all is good between the forces, but why it should not be? What the killing of an individual ex-army officer has brought to light is how

some police officers take the people's lives as nothing of value. The government's too much dependence on police for politics including election manipulation and using false cases against those who are to be politically victimised are reasons for the police excess.
Teknaf's ex-OC Pradip Kumar had spent most of his 25-year career in Chattogram region. He joined Teknaf Police Station about two years ago. Since then, more than 150 'gunfights' have taken place in the area under Teknaf Model Police Station. Because of his activities he was given the highest police award, Bangladesh Police Medal (BPM), in 2019. It is reported that he is responsible for killing 144 persons in crossfire.
Many such extra-judicial murders were committed for involvement of police with drug crimes. We do not say it with no prejudice but because police are badly used politically and such many of them think they are the government above law. The police has acquired the image that they are not law enforcers in public interest but a grave threat to life and security of the general public. It is also reported that after the former army officer was gunned down the local people came out shouting abuses against the police.
What should be a matter of grave concern is that for the political abuse of police power the police cannot be trusted as law enforcers for public good. They have to be saved as law enforcers and protectors of the people's life. The judiciary has been crippled and cannot do justice where political pressure is exerted.
The police high officials are fully aware of abuse of police power for the benefit of politicians and criminals with political connections. They also need help to extricate themselves from political pressure for making them work as friends of police. Police are seen by people as collaborators of the government. Police are not as successful as they should be in curbing crimes. The reason is the police must work in league with the criminals among the government followers for mutual benefit.
We urge all concerned not to see the killing of the retired army officer as an isolated incident. The incident should be seen to highlight how emboldened and arrogant some sections of police have become. Thousands of extra-judicial killings cannot be ignored by treating the killing of an army officer as an isolated incident. The people killed illegally must also be taken into consideration. Crossfire killing has become a normal thing in police system.
We have been insisting that police must not have the power of killing people at all. The criminals must be produced alive in a court of law for trial. The police cannot try and punish as judges.
The right of self-defence is available to everybody, not just to the police.  But in our view under the political system where police power is used for politics and crime this right of killing in self-defence must not be available to the police. Our trained police must not have this right of killing in self-defence. They are trained to know how to save themselves without killing others.
When a person is not produced in court for trial by police but killed, the person cannot be called a criminal or a terrorist under our Constitution. It is for the court to judge who is guilty and who is not. The police must work as law enforcers and not law breakers.

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