Those who vandalised the Ganashasthaya Kendra at Savar have committed a serious criminal offence. The attacks were carried out step by step: on Thursday the attackers vandalised the main gate to the PHA conference centre and on Friday they wrecked the conference centre, the dormitories of the staffs and students, looted the place and assaulted people. On the same day around 3:30pm, Ganashasthaya Pharmaceuticals was also attacked.
All this violence took place in open daylight, raising questions about the existence of law and order in Bangladesh. Is there no law enforcement in the country?
Ashulia police stations officer-in-charge Rizaul Haque said they did not receive any complaint about the vandalism and they would take measures upon receiving any such allegations.
The administrative officer of the Gonoshasthaya Kendra, however, alleged that they sought help but did not receive any assistance during the attacks.
The police statement only refers to the post-attack situation, but it was their duty to protect the victims.
The police did not even go to the spot after the attackers surrounded the area following the assault.
It is not a common criminal offence or simply a lack of law and order when two hundred armed miscreants vandalise an institution in an apparently planned manner and yet the law enforcement remained silent.
The negligence of the Ashulia police station may be connected to politics. The attacks were carried out just a day after the Cotton Textile Craft, a private institution, filed a land dispute case.
This may initially seem the outcome of a land dispute, but there is much evidence to suggest that Gonoshasthaya Kendra has been a target of political vengeance against its founder Zafrullah Chowdhury who is a critic of the government and an eminent civil society leader.
If so, we protest. The government should respect the basic spirit of our constitution--to treat everyone equally according to the law. Those responsible for the violence should be detained and prosecuted immediately.