The scary crime index
Food price and crime control are two prime indicators of good governance, as these two aspects affect the lives of the citizens squarely on a daily basis. Maintain a steady, low price and crime rate, and a beaming citizenry would shower all praises on the government. There is no scope for complacency or loosening the grip on the control mechanism because high commodity price and high crime rate together become a lethal combination.
It is common sense that first and foremost people need food and personal safety before they can engage themselves in anything else. Hence, they get annoyed and then angry when they cannot afford to buy daily food items, and when they get mugged and killed on the streets by criminals. The anger builds up when measures taken by the government fail to produce results. And these are the weak moments that the opposition waits for to strike in full force. Like it or not, this is politics.
To be candid, right at the moment, the food price index might look topsy-turvy but the crime index looks downright scary with no sign of improvement of law and order, no matter what high officials may say about it. Criminals continue to have an upper hand in controlling both "underworld" and "aboveworld." They have literally "surfaced" from the gutters like pests in large numbers, and with full might, are ready to cut you down with choppers or handgun.
From 12 at night till 6 in the morning the whole city, from Baridhara to Babu Bazar, belongs to the muggers. Even those police brothers who take a cut from one group of muggers get waylaid by another if they are found on the wrong side of the fence.
That's petty crime. The bigger dons are more into extortion and they use unregistered cell phone SIMs to demand atrocious amounts from businessmen. Some of them operate the business from other side of the border, mostly from West Bengal. Even bankers or government officials have received such calls for money.
There have been some deaths in the recent past when people refused to pay the money. Frequent reports in the media and police books say that many of the criminals and dons are using the name of the student wings of Awami League, namely Chhatra League and Jubo League, to get out of the clutch of the police. A thorough investigation is needed to verify the claim. The Awami League will have to do something concrete very soon to wipe-off the stigma.
Should Rab go ahead with the "way" it has been going after hardened criminals all these years? The "method" surely brought down the number of some listed and dangerous criminals who had killed people with no compunction. Human rights organisations do not approve of such methods and the laws of the land also have a different interpretation. But if you ask anyone on the street they would whisper in your years "yes." Now, that is a big dilemma, isn't it? Actually what we need is a thorough overhauling of our police investigation and judicial system.
Want to know where all the muggers and killers live? Ask any ward commissioner or the police officials of any station. They might not agree that they know anyone having such records but they know each and every criminal living in their areas. Then why don't they go after them and bring them to a court of law? Well, big question. This is where the nexus factor amongst criminals, policemen, politicians and administration guys come in. No government can meet success if the politicians, ward commissioners, policemen and government officials do not cleanse their own hearts of criminality and practice what they preach -- morality and religiosity.
A great number of people in this country talk too loudly about their devotion to moral and religious teachings, but then why do we see such unprecedented increase in crime at every level? How can people calling themselves "Haji Shaheb" mix brick dust with red chilli powder to make profit? Ask yourself and look for the answer.