We are concerned | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 02, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 02, 2013


We are concerned

Spiral of violence calls for restraint

In 22 days since February 5 when the verdict on Abdul Quader Mollah was pronounced triggering reactions among Jamaat-Shibir protestors around 30 persons lost their lives. Thereafter, the International Crimes Tribunal-1 having delivered death sentence on Delawar Hossain Sayedee, as many as 37 to 45 people lost their lives in a single day. The demonstrations after Juma prayers have been turning into clashes with the police resulting in casualties of one kind or another.
Add to all this, the pre-48 hour hartal called for Sunday and Monday by Jamaat-Shibir which is likely to be marked by violence with more in store as the hartal progresses.
Vandalism has been a part of the desperate bid by the Jamaatees who seem set to create public disorder. With their backs to the wall, these elements would not stop short of anything to make their prowess felt. In such a context, law enforcement agencies are under pressure to act. But at times, they appear to be overwhelmed by the Jamaatees and become rather nervy to be rushing use of force, sometimes lethally. While their intelligence wings are said to be aware of Jamaati plots we wonder why they should not concentrate on preventing gatherings before these take shape. Mob control and containment under very stressful circumstances is a very tough call but a modern police force should prove up to the task without causing unnecessary deaths.
There have been casualties on all sides and a good deal of destruction wreaked on private and public properties. One very concerning tendency related to burning of temples and houses of minority community in Noakhali. They should be protected by the citizens and the government agencies.
The restiveness and violent eruptions quite clearly stem from a sense of desperation but actually the legal process is yet to be completed with appeals and their disposal taking their time. So, the agitators should think of the leeway between now and the final outcome.
We call for restraint and responsibility from all sides so that violence and loss of lives can be fully obviated.

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