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Not yet October 4

  • Published at 07:44 pm July 28th, 2016
  • Last updated at 07:48 pm July 31st, 2016

Rajuk’s action to close down establishments before the October 4 deadline is an unfair move that fails to consider its full implications. Business-people and entrepreneurs have invested crores in ventures such as restaurants -- the proprietor of Dawat had invested Tk45 crore -- and shutting these down suddenly will result in terrible losses from which many of them may not be able to recover. And the fact that the eviction drive was started a well before the issued deadline of October 4 shows the carelessness on part of the mobile court that led the drive. But that is only a fraction of the cost. The government would do well to consider the human cost of such a move. These establishments are crucial to the economy, providing much-needed employment to thousands across the capital. Where will these people go? With thousands losing their jobs, the inevitable outcome would be a significant amount of the population who are unemployed. As urban planning experts and social scientists have constantly iterated, this might result in, contrary to the government’s plan, more youths who are ripe for the picking by extremist groups. The nation would benefit from a well-thought-out plan which addresses the issues that lead to extremism in the first place, instead of ad hoc eviction drives which have little or no connection to the issue at hand. Yesterday’s Operation Storm 26 in Kallyanpur, which resulted in the death of nine militants and the capture of one, is the right way to go about tackling terrorism in the nation, not destroying businesses and livelihoods. Though it is understandable that the government is under pressure, in the wake of the Holey Artisan and Sholakia attacks, we must be careful that the action taken is helpful in the fight against terrorism, and does not harm ordinary citizens in the process.