In the last few days, most national dailies have published photographs or reports about owners depositing their licensed arms in police stations. That is good news, as far as it goes, for reducing the possibility of violence during the election period. However, the real and important thing is seizing the unauthorised arms, bombs and explosives; as well as eliminating the many workshops where these are being manufactured. This is a critical need to ensure not only a peaceful election, but also a peaceful country, which we badly need.
About this very important work however, photographs and reports are few and far between. I guess that we have not even managed to seize even ten percent of the unauthorised arms and explosives in the country. One also wonders, why there is reluctance to talk about this matter in our newspapers. This began after the scandal of illegal arms being unloaded in Chittagong was exposed. All news reports on it were then hastily put under wraps, so that the investigation was not hampered. Has it still not been done? It is the duty of the government, particularly the impartial CTG, to issue a "white paper" on this long overdue subject!
Regarding depositing authorised arms, it is a routine matter. Have all the arms been deposited? If not, the authorities must search out the holders of arms, who have not deposited the weapons. Merely stating that they are not traceable is the lamest of lame excuses!
After finding these owners, as well as all illegal arms, bombs and explosives, import and consumption of ammonium nitrate (a resource for making explosives), must be strictly controlled. One wonders if these steps have been seriously followed up. Regular update about this should be made public, and illegal arms holders and makers should be summarily punished with wide publicity, to set examples. A lot needs to be done; little has been done, except the authorities' ability to give umpteen reasons for not being able to do it thoroughly across the country.