Stop framing innocent people as drug dealers

It is the responsibility of the members of the law enforcement agencies and the officials and employees of the Department of Narcotics Control (DNC) to stop drug trade and use. But if those protectors turn predators, the country by no means can be free from the dangerous clutch of drugs.

According to a Prothom Alo report, a DNC official was caught while implicating a female student of a university with yaba tablets. A court in Dhaka ordered to file a case against DNC sub-inspector Sheikh Mohammad Sazzad Hossain on charges of lodging a false case against a female student of a private university in Dhaka.

The narcotic officials raided the house of that student in the capital’s Khelkhet on 16 February this year and they claimed to have seized 1000 yaba tablets. A case was filed under the Narcotics Control Act and that female student was behind bars in this case. After being released from jail on bail, the student filed a fraud case against SI Sazzad and the probe found no drugs were recovered from her possession on that day, and the sub-inspector, Rokeya Akter, who searched that female student, said in a written statement that she did not join the raid on that day, and she did not know that female student either.

It can be understood very easily that a police official who can implicate a female university student with narcotics in a false case in the name of drug recovery, can harass general people to any extent. The wrongdoings of Sazzad Hossain do not end here. He allegedly took Tk 20,000 in bribes during the investigation of the case lodged against the university student.

These type of people cannot never be successful in anti-drug drives. According to the DNC sources, 38 officials and employees of the agency have faced departmental cases since 2022 after investigating various allegations of corruption and irregularities. Thirty of those cases have so far been settled, and in which, 19 people faced minor punishment like suspending increment and being reprimanded. The remaining 11 were acquitted of charges.

It cannot be understood with the number of cases how many members of law enforcement agencies and officials of the DNC are involved in these misdeeds. The wrongdoing of Sazzad Hossain has come to light because that university student filed a case against the officials concerned after being released on bail. Most of the victims do not want to get into trouble for fear of harassment.

A police official in Rajbari allegedly tried to implicate a college student with yaba and beat him. Following the incident, the student filed a written complaint attaching video evidence to the superintendent of police. It is nothing new that police implicate general people with drugs in the name of searching.

These incidents prove that the government agencies that are responsible for controlling narcotics do not realise the danger of drugs, otherwise, they could not show leniency to the law enforcement agency members who were involved in drug-related offences.

If the offenders are within responsible institutions, it will never be possible to eradicate drugs, and the harassment of the people will not end either. Here not only does harassment happen, but victims are also humiliated socially as they are levelled as criminals despite having no involvement in drug business and use. Such an incident breaks down a person or family mentally.

Fair and credible investigation must be conducted on each case related to narcotics immediately and the people responsible must be nabbed. Stop harassing innocent people in the name of searching them.