Sunday, July 10, 2011

Arrest Of Nation's Top Security Bosses Pose Grave Danger

The nation witnessed in a highly puzzled state of mind the imprisonment of senior police officials and former heads of national intelligence agencies leaving many political analysts to wonder whether any quarter within the government is working to break all security institutions to make this country difficult to function properly. Six senior police officials including three former IGPs have been sent to jail last week for alleged involvement in the August 21 grenade attack on Awami League meeting in 2004. Former chief of DGFI Major General (retd) Razzakul Haider Chowdhury is already in custody because he was the head of the organisation when the 10- truck arms overhaul, presumably meant for ULFA outfit was detained at Chittagong coast during the former BNP regime. Former NSI chief Abdur Rahim is also in the prison and along with Haider Chowdhury suffered repeated police remand over the last one year for alleged involvement in the same arms overhaul case. Their apparent crime was that they were in charge of the country's security establishments at that time.    The Indian intelligence agencies, in all over two dozens, failed to detect the terrorists attack on Mumbai few years ago but it was adjudged to be a mere security failures and none of their senior officials were ever detained or even questioned for the failure.    The US intelligence agencies like CIA or FBI had failed to stop the 9 / 11 attack on the US heartland which destroyed the New York twin tower and killed over 3 ,000 people besides partly destroying the American defence head quarters at Pentagon. These are only two examples how national governments all over the world protect the internal security and intelligence agencies, despite major failures. They enjoy total immunity while working under the guidance of elected governments. But Bangladesh appears to be the only country where the government is punishing officials for performing the assigned duties and political analysts wonder why any elected government would like to play foul with its own national security institutions.    All these actions are taking place in a highly charged political environment which even provoked Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to say last week that political landscape in Bangladesh may change any time now. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina may have been further enraged by the comment to silence her opposition.    Professionals appear to be the prime targets - be they in service or in retirement. Analysts say, two cases are enough now to hook the opposition. The grenade attack case and the arms overhaul case. The grenade attack left 23 killed along with several hundred seriously injured making it one of the horrendous criminal act in the country's history.    But the way these cases are being used politically destroying public trust in what is supposed to be neutral public institutions.    Even a former secretary of the ministry of Industries has been implicated in the arms haul case though there is hardly any credible indication that he had any clue of its arrival in the country.    The blame game from both the political divide is flying high, critics say while the victims and those who have lost their lives and limbs are failing to secure proper justice.    Criminal attacks had also occurred on former finance minister SAMS Kibria ending his life that shocked the nation. Attacks also took place on Udichi cultural events at first at Jessore and then at Ramna park causing the end of many innocent lives. Earlier a newly emerging fanatic group led by Maulana Abdur Rahman and Bangla Bhai rocked the country by bombs blasts bringing the entire nation to a state of security alert.    But these were essentially criminal attacks, obviously orchestrated by certain vested interest groups who apparently wanted to destabilize the country to take home their political harvest on third party blood to push the two major parties to a new height of confrontation and distrust.    They wanted to deepen the political divide and it has worked. It led to refocusing of the barrels by the ruling party this time on new suspects involving senior police officials and opposition political functionaries.    News report said a new supplementary charge sheet presented by special investigator Abdul Qahhar Akand, who has been recalled from retirement and has identified former state minister for Home Lutfuzzaman Babar, former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's elder son Tarique Rahman, her former political secretary Haris Chowdhury, Secretary general of Jamat-e-Islami Ali Ahsan Mujahidi and some other political and government functionaries as suspects to the August 21 grenade attack case. Even some government leaders recently threatened to arrest Matiur Rahman, editor of the mass circulated Bengali daily Prothom Alo saying he was also involved in grenade attack case.    Interestingly, one wonders how Matiur Rahman, who once belonged to the Communist Party and Jamaat leader Mujahidi could have worked together under the cover of senior police officers as the event was allegedly coordinated by some BNP leaders. These are only confusing inputs.    The supplementary charge sheet has implicated 30 persons and 18 of them have been shown as out of the country and the government has said that it would take measures to seek their repatriation to face trial.    The new accused in the grenade attack case further include BNP lawmaker Kazi Shah Mofazzal Hossain Kaikobad, former DGFI chief Rezzakul Haider Chowdhury, NSI chief Abdur Rahim and Dhaka City Corporation ward councillor Ariful Islam. They are already in the custody in arms haul case.    The arrest has led widespread reactions in the police administration, except those who are party cadres and pushing the government to act. Former IGP MA Qayum told reporters that the detained IGPs are political victims, investigations were not done properly free from prejudice. He reminded that police officials cannot be involved in incidents like the August 21 grenade attacks. It is a simple truth; nobody will get police officials involved in carrying out crimes.    A high police officials preferring anonymity however said, if BNP comes to power in the next general elections some police officials may get arrested for involvement in nasty politics. He fears police force may not be able to work properly in future if such politicization continues, the institution may suffer serious setback.