Picture: DIG SM Mahfuzul Haque Nuruzzaman addressing an interaction on Sunday
Amid a public outcry over deadly police firing on protesters in Tangail, the Dhaka range police chief has told his men they should open fire to contain troublemakers.
Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) SM Mahfuzul Haque Nuruzzaman at an interaction in Faridpur on Sunday told policemen to do “everything necessary” to stave off people who pose a threat to people’s lives or try to damage public property.
“Open fire, if necessary,” he said. “I’ll shoulder responsibility.”
Police fired on protesters in Tangail’s Kalihati on Friday, killing four and injuring many more, while they were demonstrating against the alleged rape of a woman in front of her son.
A day later, DIG Nuruzzaman visited the spot and ordered the withdrawal of the policemen who opened fire. Seven policemen were suspended.
Rights groups have been criticising what they perceive as an excessive use of force by the law enforcers.
Images and videos of the victims of police firing in Kalihati going viral on Facebook
The BNP has blamed the government of ‘using’ police to suppress any opposition.
While on Saturday Nuruzzaman took action against policemen who had opened fire at the Tangail agitators, he ordered policemen on Sunday to clamp down on extortionists during Eid to the extent of shooting, if needed.
Earlier, in February, he had given similar instructions to open fire to protect public property during the blockade and shutdowns being enforced by the BNP-led alliance and had promised to own responsibility.
“Your salaries come from public money and so do your weapons. It’s your responsibility to provide them security,” he reminded his men Sunday.
Nuruzzaman said the Hifazat-e Islam’s attempts to loot banks and carry out sabotage at the Secretariat had been thwarted by prompt police action.
He expressed his grievances against the country’s past regimes. “I had been denied promotions because I was a freedom fighter and a man from Gopalganj. Had my promotions come when they were due, I would have become the IG by now,” he said.
The interaction, chaired by Faridpur district’s Superintendent of Police (SP) Md Jamil Hossain, was also addressed by Rajbarhi’s SP Zihadul Kabir and Gopalganj’s acting SP Zahid Hasan.
Among those present were Shaltha Upazila Chairman Md Wahiduzzaman, Boalmari Upazila Chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Musa Mia and Salkha Upazila Executive Officer Biswas Russel.