Regrettable post-election incidents | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 04, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 04, 2009


Regrettable post-election incidents

AL chief should request CG to punish culprits

WHEREAS we have had the satisfaction of the election passing off peacefully and yielding a resounding verdict, retaliatory and opportunistic incidents of violence have been reported from different parts of the country. That the tendentious disorder is erupting in spite of the exhortations and instructions of the AL chief for her party loyalists (some of them post-election turncoats) to apply restraint in their behaviour is a proof enough that all out effort will have to be made to checkmate the incidence of violence.
During transition of power, a modicum of intimidation and violence involving attempted exaction of vendetta from the supporters of the losing side by the wayward segment of the victorious party hasn't been unheard of. But the scale and severity of the outrage which have already fallen into a pattern now should be a cause for worry. It calls for a decisive intervention of the CG and government-elect lest it spirals out of control bringing bad name to both.
From different industrial zones and business centres reports have poured in to the media, both electronic and print, about acts of intimidation, plunder, vandalism and coercive demands for money and outright extortion.
Our specific suggestion here is that committees be immediately formed with AL local leaders, representatives from industry and shop owners and from law enforcement agencies to protect the local business people from the mischief of thugs.
The other form of dreadful news has emanated from the dormitories of Dhaka University presenting a scene of disorder and violence allegedly with the BCL cadres, their outgoing seniors and outsiders ousting the JCD cadres and their supporters from their rooms in a display of turf war. Even some university correspondents have not been spared their wrath. The violence-prone atmosphere is only exacerbated by the factious rivalry between BCL groups stocking arms on top, boding an explosive situation on the campus. The law enforcement agencies, for their part, must act with professional integrity.
Unless the tendencies are firmly resisted these might catch on in the other universities and academic institutions, casting a shadow on the beginning of an elected government on an auspicious note.
It seems mere words of counsel urging restraint and responsible behaviour cannot work. What Sheikh Hasina needs to do is to carry out a disciplining act among wayward party loyalists in a demonstrative and well-publicised way. At the same time, she can request the caretaker government to have the incidents investigated and the culprits ferreted out and punished.

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