The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, on Wednesday ordered the police to take whatever steps necessary to stop the alleged on-going violence by opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Jamaat-e-Islami across the country during the blockade and hartal. ‘I will take the responsibility for whatever happens (for the action). But, you will have to ensure the security of lives of the common people and their property. You will take steps whatever necessary against those burning people and attacking them…There is no need to hesitate,’ she said. The prime minister also said, ‘In doing so, you must accomplish the task without any hesitation and I give you the liberty.’
Hasina was addressing an evaluation meeting with senior officials of the Bangladesh Police at the at her office marking the Police Week 2015. She said. ‘I hope you will take stern actions in your respective areas to curb these violent acts after talking to the common people, public representatives and law enforcement agencies like Ansar and VDP and RAB. You will have to unitedly curb such acts with an iron hand,’ she added. Mentioning that the BNP-Jamaat had a plan to destabilise the country, the prime minister thanked the police and intelligence agencies for thwarting their bid to create such an unstable situation.
Alleging that the current protests by the BNP-Jamaat was meant to deter the economic dynamism and pace of development, she said the worst victims of these subversive acts were the common people. Hasina questioned the BNP chief whether she, after losing her beloved son, can feel the pain of that mother who has lost her son or whose son suffered severe burn injuries in petrol bomb attacks.
Hasina sought cooperation of the police force to this end adding, ‘You will have to ensure the security of public life and property through curbing terrorist acts with tough measures.’ She also called upon members of the police to discharge their duties with a strong mentality to establish the rule of law, protect human rights, uphold the constitution and protect democracy alongside protecting the rights of women and children, elderly people and religious minorities. Hasina urged them to come out of their colonial mentality and said her government would reorganize the Bangladesh police using modern technology. R
egarding the various demands raised by police officials, including that of forming a separate division under the home ministry, Hasina said some five Grade-1 posts have been created in the police with two officials already in place in that position, while the rest three would be upgraded to that post. ‘The number of Grade-1 posts in the police will be raised gradually.’ She also assured them of providing necessary vehicles, including speedboats alongside other equipment, enhancing the manpower, gradually setting up newer police barracks as well as setting up four new police lines in the capital.
Citing the size of the home ministry as huge comprising various law enforcement agencies, the prime minister said her government has a plan to reorganise the ministry of home affairs through creating various divisions to bring dynamism in its activities. Citing her government’s plan to raise the number of administrative divisions to 10, she said this would also raise the scope of work of the administration and police.
Hasina claimed she has not assumed office to relish power, rather she believes that it was her duty and responsibility to ensure the welfare and betterment of people. Turning to the on-going war crimes trial, she said the trial was going on properly and this has to be taken ahead to free the country from stigma.
The prime minister also extended thanks to members of the police and other law enforcement agencies for their role in holding the last January 5 polls and tackling the current countrywide situation in the wake of arson, violence, hurling petrol bombs by the BNP-Jamaat nexus. She also renewed her pledge to restore peace in the country, turn Bangladesh into a middle-income country well before 2021 and a prosperous developed one by 2041. State minister for home affairs Asaduzzaman Khan and home ministry senior secretary Mozammel Haque Khan spoke on the occasion while inspector general of police AKM Shahidul Haque gave the address of welcome.