The government thought about the incident of Dhaka Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner (Lalbagh zone) Harun-or-Rashid assaulting opposition chief whip Zainul Abdin Farroque before nominating him for the President Police Medal (PPM), the Home Minister said on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had pinned the medal on Harun-or-Rashid at the inauguration function along with 66 other policemen, both from the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and Bangladesh Police, for ‘courage and achievement’.
Rashid came under harsh criticisms for beating the BNP chief whip in Parliament in July, 2011 in front of the Parliament building during an opposition-sponsored general strike.
The BNP has been criticising the nomination of the official for the award and said the government was awarding Rashid only for beating Farroque.
Asked for his reaction to BNP’s claim, the Home Minister on Tuesday said, “That special incident has been taken into consideration for awarding him (Rashid).”
“That special person (Farroque) had hurled abusive language towards the police official’s family,” Alamgir added without mentioning the BNP leader’s name.
Reporters started firing questions at the minister on the matter after he finished his speech at an evaluation meeting on crimes at the police lines.
On July 6, 2011, Farroque had come under police attack in front of the Parliament building when he was leading a procession on the first day of the two-day strike. Video footages showed Harun started beating Farroque at one point of the scuffle at the Manik Mia Avenue.
The incident was hotly debated for some time in the country and the police official’s behaviour towards the BNP leader was criticised.
But, Rashid, who was an Additional DC of DMP’s Tejgaon zone at that time, was promoted later as a DC for the Lalbagh zone.
Criticising the government move, the BNP had been claiming that Rashid’s promotion was an ‘award’ from the Awami League-led government only because of his ‘action’ against Farroque.
However, police’s annual souvenir published recently mentioned and praised Harun-or-Rashid’s duty carried out at his zone.
It said he had been working tirelessly in the department’s development and in maintaining law and order and is still continuing with his supervisory role.