Police involvement in canal encroachment shocking

THE police are expected to detect crimes and bring perpetrators to justice. But they are, however, often found to play the role of predators. The Boalia Canal, as NewAge reported on Saturday, is being dirt-filled by the police for a housing project. The police have already encroached on three acres of land by dirt-filling a portion of the canal for their 143-acre housing project. The encroachment disrupted the water flow in the canal and added to water stagnation of adjacent areas. Dirt-filling by the police and others, including real estate companies, reduced the length of the canal, which drains out rain water from the east of the capital city. Rajuk officials said that the police did not take its permission before undertaking the dirt-filling of the canal. The police, despite receiving a protest letter from Rajuk, went ahead with their activities saying they have bought the land from the original owner while the detailed area plan shows that the canal was 150 feet wide before being filled at places. The case of the canal is another striking example that shows how little regard the police, who are meant to enforce laws, have for the laws and regulations.
Now the police have agreed to return the land under the condition that the money they have unlawfully invested in buying the piece of land is paid to them by Rajuk. What the Bangladesh Police Officers’ Housing Society has done — dirt-filling without permission of city planning and environment authorities — is a punishable offence. They have violated the wetland preservation law and jeopardised the government’s project, under implementation, to restore the canals encroached in the city’s east. While the police are directly involved in the canal encroachment, there are ample allegations, on other occasions, that the police implicitly or explicitly provided support for the politically influential quarters in land grabbing. The problem at hand is, therefore, more serious than just reclaiming the canals in Dhaka that have been already grabbed. It is the unchecked involvement of law enforcement agencies in illegal activities that the government needs to address immediately. In recent times, the involvement of law enforcers in criminal activities and rights violation, including torture and extrajudicial killing, has been a major concern. The institutionalised impunity that the law enforcement agencies enjoy is the real reason for such activities of the police in the Boalia canal.
The government must, under the circumstances, ensure that the encroached section of the canal is reclaimed from the Bangladesh Police Officers’ Housing Society and those involved in the encroachment flouting laws are brought to justice. In order to ensure that the partisan and bureaucratic interests are not used to make undue influence on the canal reclamation and eviction process, the government must resolve the case of the Boalia canal judiciously. More importantly, the government must address the criminal involvement and politicisation of the law enforcement agencies that granted the police the burgeoning power they used to illegally fill the canal.

Source: New Age

One Response to Police involvement in canal encroachment shocking

  1. Who will bell the Cat ??

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