From the Editor-in-Chief: The ruling party must take note

Enayetullah Khan
Thursday, September 22nd, 2016
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The recent arrest of the son of ruling party lawmaker Refat Amin in Satkhira is a matter of concern for us because of the damage some people in the Awami League are doing to tarnish the image of the party. It is a situation the Awami League should be handling with strictness and alacrity in order for its image not to be spoilt from within. Rashed Sarwar Rumon, the son of Refat Amin, obviously does not appear to have a good record. That is clearly the view even of people within the ruling party and its affiliate the Juba League. Reports are out there of the many transgressions the young man has committed, especially after his mother made it to Parliament from a reserved seat for women from Satkhira. To our intense regret, MP Refat Amin has opted to describe her son’s arrest as propaganda against her by her enemies. She should have stayed silent on the issue and let the law take its natural course.

 

In the last few years, we have seen a fairly good number of people with links to the Awami League committing acts of indiscretion and disrepute that have clearly undermined the image of the party. Not long ago, the son of another woman MP shot a rickshawpuller in Eskaton area. And, yes, there are again all the examples of lawmakers feeling not at all embarrassed about their questionable behaviour with government employees and others. One is quite sure the powerful figures in the ruling party are aware of these people and of their activities. Allegations are there aplenty of ruling party cadres harassing young women, especially at educational institutions in rural areas. Women teachers have come under assault from men in the Chhatra League and Juba League. And who can forget the sad incident at the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology in Sylhet, where supporters of the ruling party saw nothing wrong in assaulting teachers not long ago?

 

One wonders if these incidents have at all been taken note of by the senior figures of the ruling party. We have often seen that every time young members of the AL’s affiliate organisations commit wrong, the penalty they are subjected to is suspension or expulsion from the organisations. That falls short of the needs of justice. If anyone commits wrong, it is for the law, indeed for the system of justice, to decide what action should be taken against him or her. Expelling an individual from an organisation may be all right as a matter of internal party discipline, but the overriding objective should be one of punishing the offender under the law. That standard must be maintained. Proximity to power cannot be a cause for people doing wrong to be let off the hook.

 

In the Rumon case, can we expect a full working of the machinery of justice?  The clear message should go out that no one doing wrong will be spared, that he or she will be answerable to the law. Nothing else matters.

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