WE deplore in the strongest possible terms the police brutality on the activists, some of them women, who were demanding the arrest and trial of criminals who, as an orgainsed gang, sexually harassed a number of women during the Bengali New Year.
We believe that citizens have the democratic right to vent their outrage against the onslaught on women's dignity and physical safety. The way the police swooped on the demonstrators with truncheons, watercannons and tear gas shells and indiscriminately used those on the protesting students have left us shell-shocked. We are in a state of disbelief that the police could resort to repressive measures in such a brazen fashion. Our outrage is all the more pronounced in the backdrop of lack of progress in the investigation, let alone the denial mode, on the ghastly sexual harassment incident on Pahela Baishakh.
Where there should have been a statement on the headway made on the issue, the police handled the demonstration in a way that suggested, we hope not, sweeping the matter under the carpet. Let's not forget that the police are the front face of the government and as such are expected to behave as a disciplined force that it is meant to be. The government should formulate a code of conduct for the law enforcers and apply it so that we do not have to witness such a public display of brutality, which reflects badly on credible governance.