Cocktail blast case handling
Immediately after the explosion in the Chief Justice's official residence compound on Thursday night, Home Minister Shahara Khatun made what we believe to have been not only a premature, but also an utterly irresponsible remark. To a suggestion if she thought the attack was in anyway related to 'eviction' of the opposition leader from Mainul Hossain Road residence, the minister apparently took the bait saying, "in that case, the attacker wouldn't escape punishment".
In other words, she played into speculation whereas she should have kept from making any comment whatsoever even before the investigation has got underway, let alone completion of the same. Her job is not to fuel speculation or push the rumour mill; it is to get at the bottom of a crime and book the culprit.
Predictably and as though in keeping with the pattern, the police have already arrested a large number of BNP leaders. They include Moazzem Hossain Alal, president of BNP's youth front; Habib-un-Nobi Khan, president of the party's volunteers' front; Barrister Nasir Uddin Asim, BNP chairperson's human rights affairs secretary; Sultan Salauddin Tuku, president of the Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal; and Akhter Hamid Paban, son of BNP Secretary General Khondoker Delwar Hossain. The hasty arrests even before the investigation ran any meaningful distance smack of political bias and witch hunting.
We wonder why a Home Minister should be so voluble always raring to give her first reactions to every untoward happening when commonsense and standard practice would have prompted her to just say: 'no comments, at this stage'. That's what is done in most countries. But obviously, our Home Minister is not accustomed to this; it's for the umpteenth time that she has been so tongue-loose, totally unmindful of what her remarks would amount to. Not even when such a serious incident exposed the gaping hole in law and order right before the house of the chief keeper of justice in the country!
Since the matter is under investigation, how could she be so oblivious of the fact that any hint of prejudice or politicisation on her part could influence the course of investigation, even derail it and lead to wrongful incrimination. Furthermore, it would only provoke counter politicisation as it is already happening, the BNP dubbing it as stage-managed. In the resultant blame-game, the focus is lost on the actual culprit and he escapes justice as violent criminality keeps happening over and over again.
Criminals have no political affiliation, either imputed or real, they are just criminals liable to be ferreted out through unbiased investigation and dealt with the full force of the law.