THE photograph that New Age published on its back page on Friday — some police personnel dragging a young man, reported to be a Bangladesh Nationalist Party activist, along the road near the Supreme Court where he was standing to greet the party’s chairperson who was scheduled to appear in court on Thursday — could only be described as one more example of police excesses. This could, by an extension, also be a classic example of how the law enforcement personnel, after being used by the ruling party as a tool to shrink democratic space for citizens’ dissent and to suppress the political opposition of the party in power, can indulge in excesses even when there may not be any such instruction from people high up in the police administration. The young man, perhaps along with others like him, was standing there to greet the head of the party he likes or the party ideals that he believes in. There is nothing wrong it it. And he is not reported to have been creating any public nuisance or standing in breach of law. Yet, law enforcers, several of them, dragging him along the road elsewhere betrays that they are not friendly to citizens.
Law enforcers thinking themselves as part of the government and the ruling party rather than part of the state, which they actually are, could very well hamper their main duty, which is to discover, deter, rehabilitate and bring to justice anyone standing in breach of the rules and norms that govern society. By ignoring what they are mandated to do, they often become reasons for the travesty of justice. They often do excesses, use force more than what is needed, sometimes, come to be engaged in criminal activities and trample down fundamental rights of citizens. They also have aberrations from the law in dealing with the crime suspects and people detained on suspicion. Instances of such of their aberrations from the law are not rare as they keep continually making headlines for such wrong reasons. Law enforcers have always done excesses and the phenomenon has come to be noticed by an increased measure especially after the controversial January 2014 parliamentary elections, which all major political parties boycotted. And what is worrying is that there seems to be no meaningful redress for such affronts. The situation needs to be changed, and immediately. The government should, therefore, resolve that it would use the law enforcers properly if it means business.
Such a political use of the law enforcement personnel would hardly do any good in the long run. The government must, therefore, realise that it needs to let law enforcers go of its political clutch and stop using them for partisan gains if it means proper police work. The government must also employ authorities outside the police force to deal with police excesses and their aberrations from the law as the police investigating the police personnel might hinder justice.
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