Children and teenagers used to play in this open space known as Tentultala field which has been lying vacant for almost 50 years. Besides, there are various social programmes including Eid prayers and janaza held here. But police say the Dhaka district administration has allocated the land for the construction of the Kalabagan police station building. Since then, there have been several protests under the banner of 'Kalabagan locals' to save the field. One of them was Syeda Ratna, a local resident. Syeda Ratna was broadcasting it live on Facebook when police started construction work on the field on Sunday. For this reason, she and her young son were detained at the police station on charges of obstructing government work.

First, the claim that this was an ‘obstruction to government work' is certainly debatable. Secondly, we need not to read the law books to understand that it is illegal to detain a child in such a manner. The boy could have been reprimanded and released in the first place even if he had interfered with government work. But the way the police have detained him and his mother all day is cruel and inhumane. It is definitely a coercive and illegal act to force somebody to sign a bond by keeping them in the police station.

After the arrest of the mother and son, no one was allowed to enter the police station from noon. Although the police tried to file two cases against Syeda Ratna under the Digital Security Act and the Penal Code for obstructing government work, they released her in the face of public outcry. However, the police department has not yet apologised to the woman.

The classification of playgrounds, open spaces, parks and natural reservoirs under the Conservation Act may not be changed; cannot be used in any other way or leased to anyone. On the one hand, the government will talk about the healthy development of children and adolescents in building a crime-free society, on the other hand, it will make the children's playground a prison, which is unwarranted.

On a more hopeful note, home minister Asaduzzaman Khan has said that it will be decided after further discussion whether Tentultala ground will remain as a playground or a building for the police station will be built there. Bu then again, he also hinted that the construction of the building may not be stopped. The most appalling thing is that the construction work was running yesterday in the presence of a large number of policemen.

For this reason, it is most important for the police to apologise and give a 'bond' to the effect that the field will remain the same as before.

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