Raise public engagement to fight militancy: PM
DHAKA : Describing the people as the “main strength” of the country, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today directed the members of police force to earn the trust of the people and raise their engagement in combating terrorism and militancy.
“The people are our main strength. So you will have to keep the people in confidence and raise their involvement as it would help face any situation like fighting terrorism and militancy,” she said.
“The people could show that who do what work, and actual information could be known from them,” she added.
The prime minister was addressing senior police officers at her office here this morning on the occasion of the Police Week 2017.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, Home Secretary Kamaluddin Ahmed, Inspector General of Police AKM Shahidul Haque and Additional IG (admin) Mokhlesur Rahman addressed the function.
Besides, Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia, DIG of Chittagong Range Shafiqul Islam, Additional Police Commissioner of Counter Terrorism Unit Monirul Islam and Additional DIG Habibur Rahman and Gazipur Police Super Harunur Rashid spoke.
The prime minister said police’s enhanced people links would make easier their task to contain terrorism as citizens could provide information on terrorists.
She particularly underscored the need for keeping a comprehensive police-people vigil on youngsters to watch if they regularly go to schools, colleges and universities and who they are mixing with.
“You will also have to be vigilant about the children’s movements and activities and watch where the children go and with whom they become close,” she said.
Coming down heavily on rights watchdogs of the country for remaining silent after the killing of Gaibandha lawmaker Manzurul Islam Liton, the premier said hue and cry starts by such organisations when a minor incident take place in the country.
“But the human rights bodies didn’t raise any voice after the killing of Liton on December 31 last,” she said.
Pointing to the killing of the people of different religions and carrying out attacks on them and setting fire to mosques and holy Quran in a planned way, the prime minister said many people were not so much vocal against such heinous acts.
“This is part of a plot and we will have to think about it and stay alert,” she said.
Expressing resentment over the withdrawal of police force from the house of Liton, Sheikh Hasina said she doesn’t know why the police force was lifted from his house in Sundarganj in Gaibandha.
“The most painful matter is that a parliament member was killed brutally at his home in Gaibnadha, where there was no police personnel . . . I don’t know why the (police) force was withdrawn from his house,” she said.
In this connection, she said the personal weapon of the lawmaker was also seized along with withdrawal of the police force. “It seemed that he was pushed towards death in a planned way,” she said.
The prime minister said four policemen were killed by the BNP-Jamaat terrorists in Gaibandha, Sundarganj, Palashbari, Gobindaganj and Saghata areas in 2013. The BNP-Jamaat elements also burnt and looted police outposts there, she said.
“No security was provided to the lawmaker of an area which was once dominated by the BNP-Jamaat, and rather such measures were taken (seizure of weapon and withdrawal of police) for which he had to lose his life,” she said.
Referring to the article 7 of the constitution, Sheikh Hasina said the owner of the republic is the people.
“So the killing of a public representative who was elected in the people’s vote it won’t be accepted in any way and the police force will have to stay alert in every area,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina also asked the police members working in the field level to be more associated with the masses to create awareness against drug addiction as it is destroying life of the youths.
“I hope that every police member who is imbued with patriotism would perform the responsibility for maintaining law and order,” she said.
The prime minister said the role of police in establishing social stability is undeniable. “Building a strong foundation of containing, checking and resisting crimes and ensuring security is the first ladder for investment and development,” she added.
Sheikh Hasina said the police members will have to extend their hands to serve the helpless and endangered people.
“You will have to build a close bridge with the people by remaining committed as a transparent and accountable institution,” she said.
The premier once again put emphasis on expanding community policing activities to maintain law and order.
The prime minister said it is an expectation of the nation that the police force would further brighten the country’s image in national and international arenas in future too by keeping ahead the motto of patriotism and serving people being imbued with the spirit of the Liberation War.
She said her government has successfully contained terrorism and militancy like the incident of Holey Artisan although many countries are struggling to face such menaces.
Pointing out the remark of a foreign envoy in Dhaka through which he undermined Bangladesh’s ability to face the situation, the prime minister said the police members discharged their duties with courage and foiled all conspiracies risking their life during that time.
Terming the sacrifice of police officers as example of real patriotism, she expressed satisfaction over the unique success of combating terrorism in just few hours and said the world is yet to know how much more the Bangalees can do.
The prime minister said some quarters cannot accept Bangladesh’s
advancement, though various countries are praising the success stories of the government.
Sheikh Hasina said the post-1975 government had tried to portray Bangladesh as a nation of disaster, poverty and beggars.
But, she said, it is only Awami League that after coming to power after long 21 years restored the image of the country by making huge development.
The prime minister also assured senior police officers of considering their various demands including raising the Grade 1 and 2 Posts, alongside increasing vehicles and other infrastructural development.