Justice done

Why pepper spray use not illegal: HC

The High Court on Monday questioned the legality of using chemical based riot control options like pepper spray on people.The bench of justices Naima Haider and Zafar Ahmed issued the rule after the primary hearing of a writ petition.

The court also asked the Home Secretary, Inspector General of Police and the Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police to respond within 3 weeks , explaining why the use of such chemical based sprays should not be declared illegal.

Lawyer Younus Ali Akand filed the petition on Sunday seeking a ban on use of any chemical spray in Bangladesh.

The petition specifically sought a ban on use of pepper spray by seeking an interim rule to stop its use until the final ruling.

The pepper spray became controversial in Bangladesh after police used it against agitating non-MPO teachers and on rallies of some leftist parties.

The Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) had demanded the resignation of Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir for authorising use of pepper spray on their protests.

The BNP also asked for bringing Alamgir to book for similar reasons.

Pepper spray is variedly known as OC spray (Oleoresin Capsicum), OC gas and Capsicum spray in some countries. It contains chemicals that cause severe irritation in the eyes.

Teachers had been claiming that one of their colleagues died after police used pepper spray on their demonstration but the Home Minister claimed it is ‘not deadly’.

Alamgir said pepper spray have been cleared by international convention for riot control and street violence.

Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Benazir Ahmed on Saturday had said that the spray was being used instead of ‘baton charge’ which injures people , whereas the effect of the spray lasts for a while.

According to a North Carolina Medical Journal, chemicals in the pepper spray might cause death.

On the other hand, the police commissioner claimed that effect of the spray wears off 40 minutes after use.

On Thursday, another Supreme Court lawyer Eklas Uddin Bhuiyan had sent the government a notice to stop the use of pepper spray, as it contained harmful poisons.

Bhuiyan had told bdnews24.com that he would file a writ petition in public interest if the government does stop the use of pepper spray.bdnews24.com

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