• Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Hefazat has crossed the line

  • Published at 02:16 pm June 3rd, 2017
Hefazat has crossed the line

The government should not stand for this.

It is one thing for the government to negotiate with Hefazat’s demands for the removal of a statue.

It is quite another to tolerate such an explicit incitement to violence.

Hefazat’s Dhaka Committee Vice President Junayed Al-Habib has threatened prominent lawyer and human rights activist Sultana Kamal with physical violence, telling her: “If you come out to the streets, we will break every bone in your body.”

In addition, the group has said Sultana Kamal should be arrested and exiled from the country.

These appalling comments cannot be protected or ignored in the name of freedom of speech -- Hefazat’s comments should be treated as an act of violence, as they call for deliberate physical harm on another human being.

It was a mistake on the government’s part to remove the statue of Lady Justice from High Court premises in the first place, as this newspaper has editorialised before, but it can be argued that such a move was made considering the sentiments of a large section of the population, and did not violate the rights of any citizen.

Threats made by Hefazat, directed at not just Sultana Kamal but also to public order, certainly cross the line, and nothing less than tough action on part of the government will work as a response.

When a prominent lawyer with an illustrious record of serving the nation can be threatened in such a disturbing way for simply making hypothetical comments on a talk show, no one is safe.

Hefazat members responsible for issuing those threats should be brought to book immediately. Failure to do so would be disastrous for the country.

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