Thursday, 29 September, 2022

Resurgence of violence: An ominous sign

Resurgence of violence: An ominous sign

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The country’s political landscape appears to be getting increasingly violent centring on the next parliamentary elections, which is still one and a half years away. In recent weeks we have seen a number of violent clashes between supporters of AL and BNP as well as between BNP and police in various parts of the country, which left at least three people dead and many injured. Although there are conflicting claims about what actually triggered the clashes, BNP seems more interested in winning the street fights than participating in Election Commission’s dialogue over sorting out various issues over the elections. As if, the street fights, not the ballot, will determine the winner of 12th parliamentary election!

A front-paged report in yesterday’s Daily Sun also indicates that BNP is plotting to replicate the reign of terror that it unleashed during the national elections of 2014. One may recall that instead of participating in the elections, BNP along with its ally Jamaat resorted to widespread vandalism and arson attack leaving around 500 people dead, including 20 law enforcers. However, BNP gained nothing from such wanton violence other than widespread condemnation and rebuke. For example, a Canadian court labelled BNP as a terrorist organisation considering the atrocities committed by the party in 2013 and 2014. Sadly, it learned no lesson and still seems focused on committing violence and atrocities.

We hope BNP will act wisely and responsibly. Violence will take it nowhere, except further away from the people. Therefore, the party must return to democratic means of doing politics by participating in dialogues and elections. Of course, the opposition has every right to assemble, to protest or to stage demonstrations against any government action that they deem to be unjust. But it must be done in a peaceful manner.

That said, the BNP shouldn’t be given a free reign to commit violence at its own sweet will. Any kind of violence and unruly behaviour must be checked for the greater interest of the people and the economy. Apart from checking violence and vandalism, the law enforcement agencies should handle political rallies more efficiently and delicately so that such programs do not spiral into street battles.