Sunday, March 24, 2013

Message from Chairman of the Board of Directors, BEC

Bangladesh Expatriates Council is very concerned about the deteriorating law and order situation inside Bangladesh. In the last few weeks, we have heard and seen several reports which are highly disturbing. There are serious accusations that Bangladesh Police are sometimes shooting peaceful demonstrators without being provoked. A video taped film showed how a Hindu OC in Chittagong, Pradip Kumar Das, had killed an unarmed young man in what can only be described as an execution style murder. The latter was protesting against the verdict of the International War Tribunal Court. If such reports are true, it is simply unacceptable and condemnable, and the government of Bangladesh must correct such abuse of power by rogue members of the Police by investigating and punishing the culprits. Of particular concern to many expatriates is the report that some of the expatriates were picked up by the Police, assuming because of their beard or Islamic dress that they are affiliated with Muslim political organizations like the Jamat-e-Islami, and later handed over to the mob to beat them up and eventually put in the prison cells. If true, such reports portray a very negative image about the Police force in Bangladesh. Their activities are bound to polarize Bangladeshi people and divide the nation when unity is desirable. The government of Bangladesh needs to take such accusations very seriously and stop such serious abuses of its law enforcement agency. As the summer approaches, we urge members of our expatriate community to be extra vigilant when they travel to Bangladesh and not to get victimized. If you do, please, don't forget to contact the embassy offices promptly. On a cauionary note there is little doubt that truth is increasingly becoming victim to propaganda and is twisted by various groups to confuse our community. Please, verify such information before taking a stand on any. BEC also maintains that the citizens in a democracy have every right to protest in a peaceful manner and that the Police, as law enforcing organ of the government, has the responsibility to preserve law and order inside the country and must avoid the temptation to shooting at anyone unless the lives of their own members or other members within the society are seriously threatened. Salam, peace, Habib Siddiqui

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