MKA defends DC Harun’s Farroque bashingMuktadir Rashid
The home minister, Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir, on Tuesday sought to defend the July 2011 police assault on the opposition chief whip, Zainul Abdin Farroque, saying that deputy commissioner Mohammad Harun-or-Rashid had discharged his duties that was lawfully vested in him.
‘Harun had lawfully discharged his duty that was vested in him,’ Muhiuddin when asked by a reporter at the Police Week function if the government had considered Harun’s action against Farroque while awarding the police official the President’s Police Medal 2013.
The minister was approached for comments at the Rajarbagh Telecom Bhaban in the capital over
the criticism for awarding some ‘controversial’ police officers, particularly Harun, who had beat the opposition chief whip during an opposition hartal in the capital on July 6, 2011 and allegedly stood by as a passive onlooker when Bishwajit Das was killed by Chhatra League activists on December 9, 2012.
The home minister said, ‘the gentleman [Zainul Abdin Farroque], who, according to you [questioner], was assaulted, had hurled abuses at the police that were insulting to their parents.’
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina gave the gallantry awards to Harun among 67 police personnel in the Police Week 2013 that began on Tuesday at the Rajarbagh Police Lines.
Harun, the then additional deputy commissioner of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (Tejgaon division), had hit headlines after assaulting Zainul Abdin Farroque. He was later made the deputy commissioner of Lalbagh division.
Harun, who comes from Kishoreganj, took spotlight again after some activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League hacked to death Bishwajit Das, 23, a tailor, near Bahadur Shah Park during the road blockade the BNP-led alliance enforced on December 9, 2012.
The video footage of the incident, aired by television channels, showed that some policemen led by Harun were standing nearby, witnessing the attack.
A government order issued on January 19 said that the president’s police medals were awarded to Harun and others, for their commendable performance in completing investigation of cases, curbing crimes with competence, sincerity, honesty and disciplinary attitude in the year of 2012.
When asked why the award was given to Harun in 2012 although the Farroque incident had taken place in 2011, Muhiuddin said, ‘The Bangladesh Police was given the Swadhinata Award in 2011 for its contribution to the War of Liberation in 1971.’
A total of 67 police personnel and its different units, including Rapid Action Battalion, Detective Branch, industrial police and the Armed Police Battalion, were given Bangladesh Police Medal and President’s Police Medal at the opening ceremony of the Police Week.
The RAB additional director general, Colonel Md Mujibur Rahman, was given the award for the incident in which five men, said to be pirates, were killed in an ‘encounter’ with the battalion at Marabhala in Bagerhat on March 16, 2012.
Additional superintendent of police, Prolay Kumar Zuardar, also the former protocol officer of the prime minister, was awarded BPM (service) for his ‘catalytic role’ in upgrading the position of the inspector general of police to grade-I officer.
Of the 67 awardees, 43 are officers of the rank of assistant commissioner and above while 18 are from the ranks of assistant sub-inspector to inspector and only six are constables to havildars.
The Padak Book, however, was not distributed to the journalists at the inaugural function.
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Date:Wednesday, 23rd January, 2013