Hefazat demands dismissal of Kushtia SP

Sculpture of Bagha Jatin vandalised in Kushtia
Prothom Alo File Photo

Hefazat-e-Islam urged the government to dismiss Kushtia’s superintendent of police (SP) SM Tanvir Hasan for a recent remark he made at a public programme.

Religious group Hefazat’s central organising secretary Azizul Haque Islamabadi made the demand in a statement on Friday.

The Hefazat leader in the statement said the SP threatened to break the arms of so-called religious fundamentalists which is tantamount to criminal offence by a public servant.

He also alleged that certain quarters are vandalising sculptures to take political advantage by putting blame on alems (Islamic scholars).

The statement said, “Police are employees of the state or servants of the people. They are supposed to ensure people’s safety and maintain law and order in the country. It’s not the responsibility of police to give judgment or punish. They would prevent crime and arrest the criminals and hand them over to court. Police can’t either break any criminal’s arms or imprison a criminal without trial. We urge the government to suspend the SP immediately.”

SP Tanvir Arafat delivered a speech at a protest rally at Kaya College in Kushtia's Kumarkhali on 21 December over the vandalising of a sculpture of revolutionary Bagha Jatin.

He said that those who raise questions about Bangabandhu and the constitution of Bangladesh have three options to choose. He said, “Number one, If you try anything, I'll break your arm and send you to jail. Second option, remain absolutely silent and you can’t raise any question about the country’s independence and Bangabandhu. Thirdly, if you don’t like Bangladesh, you are welcome to go to your beloved country Pakistan.”

A local unit leader of the youth wing of ruling Bangladesh Awami League and two others have been arrested for their alleged involvement with the vandalising of the sculpture of Jatindranath Mukherjee, popularly known as Bagha Jatin, a freedom fighter of undivided India.

Earlier, an under-construction sculpture of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was vandalised in Kushtia town on the night of 4 December.

Following the incident, police arrested two students and two teachers of a madrasah and sent them to jail.