Let interest of the citizens be saved
Wednesday, 16 July 2008

The change that came with the caretaker administration taking office was characterized by marked improvement in the law and order situation in the country. However, by far the greater achievement that came with the changeover was that the unstoppable downward slide that had set in prior to the cut-off date of one-eleven did instantly screech to a halt. The fall in the crime rate, which is certainly a development on the law and order front, was also an important upshot of the changeover. But after one year and a half into the changed circumstances, the crime rate is again on the rise, though one cannot now blame it on any political instability in the country. Reports have it that, apart from social violence, the incidents of professional criminals preying on the unsuspecting commuters, pedestrians and people traveling to Dhaka on various businesses from the districts within the capital city itself have increased manifold recently. The electronic and the print media regularly carry reports on police exploits about busting the dens of drug dealers with the recovery of large quantities of drugs under various brand names. And all this is happening in spite of the regular forays of the law enforcers into the hideouts of the criminals. The media reports on the incidence of crime under all the 33 police stations of the Dhaka Metropolitan police themselves provide a rough picture of the crime situation in the capital city. But these are only the official figures provided by the police stations as well as the ones the crime reporters of the print and electronic media themselves cover. But the real picture of crime is far graver than these official records imply. In most cases the victims of crime avoid going to the police stations for redress. The reason is obvious. To most, going to the police stations holds out little hope of any sympathetic hearing at best and further hassles and harassment at worst, let alone any prospect of redress. The DMP, however, is learnt to have intensified its vigilance to check the incidence of various types of crime in the capital city by setting up 100 checkpoints at different important crime spots. But what worries most is the allegation that in some cases the police personnel just look away when the mugging or snatching is taking place within earshot of the on-duty police. There are even complaints that the crime sometimes takes place with the connivance of the law-enforcers present nearby. It is learnt that the street corner snatchers have to pay the police at a certain monthly rate so that the former might continue their dangerous trade unhindered. If such state of affairs is allowed to continue, overall improvement in law and order situation may not be expected. We urge the government to take necessary steps in a bid to save the interests of the citizens.

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