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November 23, 2003 

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Another violation of fundamental rights
Recently a parliamentary committee has decided to endorse legislation that would allow the Bangladeshi authorities to intercept and tap phone calls and e-mails. I am at a loss reading the news as it is a clear invasion of privacy, a fundamental right of the citizens guaranteed by the Constitution. Of course this fundamental right is subject to reasonable restriction. I guess this move of the government is to apprehend the criminal and to curb criminal activity. I understand that under certain special circumstances the authorities may need to monitor the phones and the e-mails. But is it necessary for all and every citizen?

It is alleged that the top criminals are often protected by powerful politicians. It is the political will which is necessary to reduce criminal activity and arrest the offenders. Giving this short of blank power to our unscrupulous law enforcers will certainly encourage abusing the law. The government must rethink before giving effect to this decision as it will limit the peoples' constitutional right.
Mizanur Rahman,
Kafrul, Dhaka.

Thanks to frank admission
Generally government officers in our country don't admit the facts. Exceptionally Dhaka police commissioner Mr. Ashraful Huda admitted in a meeting at the Crime Reporter Association that his traffic police take even one taka as bribe. Thanks for admitting the fact . He confessed that this kickback taking is only during the current Eid time. But most of the people believe that not only the traffic police but also many of the police force take bribe in the whole year. In the time of Eid it increases only. Recent two vivid examples were one in Khilgoan police station & another was in Khulna. Now we look forward to see what action he takes against his corrupted fellowmen to fulfil his commitment.
Md.Zillur Rahaman,
Dhaka University.

Who is correct?
Few days back I red a news item in The Daily Star that the State Minister for Home is not satisfied with the police force as they have failed to maintain and improve the law and order of the country. According to the news, he also blamed the police for tarnishing image of the government. Some days before the Home Minister claimed in the Parliament that the Police is doing very good and the law and order of the country is OK. I find it very interesting as they are contradicting each other.

Police is under the direct control of the Home Ministry. So, when the two top most people concerned contradict each other, who should we believe? We all are aware of the prevailing law and order of the country. All shorts of crimes are rising day by day and we the general people are getting used to it. But recently, one more crime has been added to the list, kidnapping and snatching by the law enforcers. Over the last few days, a good number of allegations have been reported in the news papers. Some of the police members are arresting people for realising money. This is quite alarming. When the law enforcers, who are supposed to nab the criminal, also join them, where should the people go?

I don't think the Ministry is not aware of these incidents. But have it taken any step to stop these and bring the perpetrators to book? For some unruly member, the whole police department is loosing its image. I believe there are many honest and efficient officers in our police force. It should be wise for the govt to let the police work independently. And I sincerely believe, if the police are allowed to work freely without any political interference, they will perform better. So I urge the govt not to use the police for political purpose.
Farhana Dilshad,
Advocate, Dhaka Judge Court.

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