Bangladesh has long struggled with the problem of law enforcement personnel abusing power
To say the least, the citizens of Bangladesh have a problematic relationship with the police. Law enforcement personnel are meant to make us feel safe, and while they should indeed be the bane of criminals and wrong-doers, the rest of us -- the law abiding citizens amongst us -- should not have any cause to fear police officers. Sadly, this is far from the reality.
It is good to see that many victims of police brutality and abuse have finally spoken out. It is hard to break the silence when there is such fear of repercussion, and as such, we acknowledge and applaud their courage in stepping forward following the murder of Major (retd) Sinha Mohammad Rashed Khan.
Bangladesh has long struggled with the problem of law enforcement personnel abusing power. The Teknaf police station was particularly notorious in this regard, with a large number of extra-judicial killings happening under that jurisdiction.
It is a positive sign that OC Pradeep Kumar Das has been taken into custody, because far too often, police officers with clout are able to manipulate facts and get away with their misdeeds. However, it is important that all high ranking police officers who commit crimes are brought to book. The case of Sinha is not an isolated incident, and should be used as a spring-off point to address a much broader issue.
It is high time to take a firm stand against police brutality and abuse. We simply cannot afford to normalize the culture of “crossfire.” Such acts are murder, plain and simple, and no one, not even the most influential or well-connected law enforcement officer, should get a free pass.