Professional Police find work tough now

Eight policemen were killed and over 300 injured in just 11 days from February 28 during a countrywide violence that broke out following a war crimes tribunal’s judgment against a Jamaat leader, exposing that the law enforcers’ lives are on the sharp edge.The country saw the widespread violence after the International War Crimes Tribunal-1 judgment awarding capital punishment to Delwar Hossain Sayedee, nayeb-e-ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami, for his crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.
The activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir took to the streets and unleashed vandalism with lethal weapons pushing the country into anarchy.
“Law enforcement is a profession fraught with danger. We (police) are facing a two-pronged plight in maintaining law and order over dealing with political conflicts across the country falling victims to attacks by political activists,” a top police official told UNB wishing not to be named.
“One predicament is that the government insists the police to handle the political situation with an iron hand, while the ruling party leaders time and again claim the police function without any political influence. But the ground reality is different,” he said.
He said police are deployed at different strategic points across the country when there are political programmes like agitation, protest rally and shutdown called by opposition parties, especially Jamaat-e-Islami, to control unruly activists with an iron hand.
Police said the political activists during their programmes appear violent and lock into clashes with the law enforcers. “When we try to resist them with hard-line actions, the political activists make counter-attacks, causing casualties.”
When his attention was drawn, former IGP Mohammad Nurul Huda told UNB, “The language of political protest has changed…we hardly saw such violent protests in the past. In this subcontinent, police are politically used, but it is more in our country.”
Asked about way out, Nurul Huda said the government policymakers need to think about ways to reduce the use of police in political purposes.  “Above all, we need to have a political compromise to defuse tension.”
Contacted, State Minister for Home Shamsul Haque Tuku said police have been working with patience risking their lives to protect public life and property. “But Jamaat-Shibir activists are making sniper attacks on police, and they (police) are losing lives while trying to contain their terrorist acts.”
According to police headquarters sources, four policemen — constables Babul Mia, 43, Hazrat Ali, 29, Tozammel Hossain, 48, and Khwaja Nazimuddin Akand, 50 — were killed in Gaibandha district during a series of clashes with Jamaat-Shibir activists on February 28.
On the same day, another police constable, Abu Tareq, 22, was killed during a clash in Chittagong district.
Constable GM Omar Faruk was killed and six other law enforcers were injured in an attack by Jamaat-Shibir activists in Harinakundu upazila in Jhenidah on March 3. The incident took place when several thousand Jamaat-Shibir men brought out a procession in support of the 48-hour hartal and attacked government offices located in the upazila headquarters.
Constable Mojahar Ali, 45, who sustained bullet injuries during a clash with Jamaat-Shibir activists in Rangpur district, succumbed to his injuries at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH), Dhaka on March 5.
Constable Mafizur Rahman, 50, was killed in an attack by the accused of a case filed in connection with Jamaat-Shibir violence at Kolkhani in Koyra upazila of Khulna district on March 10. UNB

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