When protectors become killers
The shocking murder of three people, including a child, by an Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) in Kushtia town highlights the need for our police department to cleanse itself of rogue elements who misuse their legal right to use and carry firearms, and wield their power for personal missions instead of carrying out their responsibilities of serving the public.
A report published in this daily yesterday mentions the Superintendent (SP) of Khulna district confirming that the culprit had gone to Kushtia carrying a firearm without any permission from a higher authority. It is a relief that this dangerous individual has been arrested and also, suspended from the police department. However, fear still looms large, since such incidents are not isolated. While the recent ruling by the High Court suspending six police personnel for the illegal and unconstitutional confinement of four minors is a step in the right direction, it points towards a wider culture of impunity for members of the police force, who are often able to abuse their power with little to no consequences.
The death of these three people at the hands of the ASI not only demonstrates the reckless behaviour of many members of the police, but the lack of structural accountability within these organisations as well. Over the years, we have learnt of many incidents of members of the law enforcement agencies resorting to lawlessness. Apart from the extreme cases such as murders, in many instances, the departmental action taken for many serious offences amounts to mere suspension and transfer. It is important that the police and other law enforcing departments undergo much needed reforms and have a system of accountability for the law enforcers who actually break the law instead of upholding it. There must be a sincere effort to root out corrupt elements within the police department. Relevant to the latest case of multiple murders committed by an ASI, the police department must be especially diligent about background checks, and psychological assessments of possible candidates have to be included before recruiting them, so that individuals prone to violence are not inducted into the force.