First, let me say this – not all police officers are bad and not all of them are good. There will always be a few bad apples that spoil the bunch.
Power practice, either boosted by their uniform or the wrong kind of political ties, by police officials in our country is now just another thing the people have grown accustomed to. Such practices sometimes lead to good, which is very rare, and sometimes bad. The bad ones have a very wide range, which varies from bribery during passport verification to simple assistance in a legal matter. Many will say, and I agree, that the number of bad incidents outweighs the good ones very easily. Whether we protest the bad ones or not is totally up to us. But that is not easy for the general citizens as not all of us come from a position of power.
A police officer has now come to the focus of social media bashing with a video clip going viral on Facebook, where he was seen insulting a student of a Dhaka college apparently for no reason at all; at least none that were either explained or seen in the footage.
While the student and his friends vehemently protested the insult, the traffic inspector did not admit his fault or even apologise. The insult, made in the guise of a question, was perhaps aimed at the student’s father, who is also the OC of a police station in the capital city, and his marital status, obviously hurting the student’s feelings.
The students were taking an Uber ride to their college when the car was stopped at a police check post at Hatirjheel. What happened from that point on may cause you to raise an eyebrow when you finish watching the video of what went down over there.
One of the students had recorded the incident on his phone, and later all of them shared a number video clips on Facebook, where the clip with the beginning of the incident went viral within hours. According to the students, the same police officer had stopped their car on earlier three instances at the same spot in Hatirjheel, harassing and verbally abusing them seemingly for no reason. They said they had avoided any confrontation to protect themselves the previous times, but this time, after the insult to his parents, one of them lost his temper.
While it can be said that the officer probably has a dispute with the boy’s father, but, simply put, that cannot be reason enough to ask a teenager how many mothers he has! That is just gross and plainly not the way a middle-aged police inspector should behave with a teenager in a public place. Some may point out that the student and one of his friends were also trying some ‘power practice’ themselves by mentioning the names of their father and uncle, respectively, and what they do. Well, the main victim’s father himself is a police station OC. Need I explain more?
However, from my point of view, they did that simply to protest the officer’s misconduct for which he never apologised, which I found very irritating, and kept insisting that he ‘let off the students’? I don’t know what the students did to be at the mercy of the officer, and yes, he didn’t clear that up either when the student who was recording asked him about their fault.
Also, at the end of one of the clips, another police officer, who had apparently come to mediate, somehow took his colleague’s side and told the students, who were back inside the car at the end, that he would ‘give them a beating after the Eid’ before telling them to leave the scene in a crude manner. Not sure what happened there!
Now, I myself have some friends and seniors back from my school and university lives in the police force. I think positively about them all the time when I meet them or see their posts about their life in the force on Facebook. I feel proud whenever I think that I have people who are serving our country and the people day and night. I try to think that despite the bad seeds, which I sincerely hope will be plucked out and disposed of, our police force will always prevail and carry out their duties and maintain their motto – ‘Discipline Security Progress’. But then you see something like this happen to a college student in your city and just feel utterly disappointed.
Hope...is a very tricky thing to feel or even ask for. Our police force’s image gets tarnished whenever one officer goes and picks a fight with a teenager. There’s no question about it. But then again, I feel immensely proud when I read about another traffic police constable who also became a social media hit after saving 25 passengers from a drowning bus in Comilla and was awarded for his bravery. And such incident, the second kind of course, makes me feel that there is still hope for the police force, there is still time for them to turn around and take care of what they stand for. Because, at the end of the day people can’t and shouldn’t break the law and take law in their own hands to resolve whatever problem they are going through. They have to count on the police and trust them. 100%. But if they can’t do that, what good is the police for?