• Monday, Jan 27, 2020
  • Last Update : 02:55 am

A hard job

  • Published at 12:06 pm May 6th, 2013

These are truly difficult times for the law enforcement authorities. The job of maintaining law and order and protecting the safety and freedom of movement of the general public in the face of the Hefazat’s Dhaka blockade programme was a daunting one. Doing so without over-reaching and resorting to brutality and excessive violence, in such a tense and frightening environment, was even more challenging, though we are glad to note that the authorities were wise enough to recognise its necessity. Thus, we should congratulate our law enforcement and be deeply appreciative for a job well done. As they continue to fight pitched battles in the street with a segment of the Hefazat activists, they have conducted themselves with admirable restraint and discipline, especially when you consider the danger inherent in facing off against tens of thousands armed with sticks and other weapons and bent on mayhem. At last count, two protesters and one innocent bystander lie dead and scores have been injured, but, by all accounts, the police and other law enforcement have done everything in their power to minimise casualties and ensure that the situation has not spiralled out of control, which it easily could have done. The paramount concern of law enforcement must be to keep the peace and to protect the rights and freedoms of the general public. Given the enormity of what they were up against, all of us in Dhaka have reason to be grateful to the police for the way in which they have ensured our safety, to a large extent. The second, and related, concern, must be to act with only as much violence as the situation calls for. This is both out of respect for the rights of those who are protesting, even those who do so violently, as well as out of an understanding that fighting fire with fire will only lead to further conflagration that could endanger the general public. We are rarely appreciative enough of the men and women in uniform who keep the peace during political turmoil, putting their lives on the line for us.