Police must practise fairness in election duty: Ex-IGP

Sohrab Hasan and Kamrul Hasan | Update:

Mohammad Nurul HudaThe police personnel should ensure fair practice in maintaining law and order during the coming elections so that they can earn the people's confidence, says a former inspector general of the police.

Mohammad Nurul Huda, who was the police boss during the political transition of 2000-2001, maintains that it is bad for the country if the public servants are biased to any group.

“Duty of the police is to maintain law and order during the elections. They (police personnel) will have to work in accordance with the circular published by the election commission,” he told Prothom Alo in an exclusive interview.

Nurul Huda insisted that the police should ensure that they work neutrally.

Asked about general perception that the police is instrumental in keeping the Awami League in state power, he said he does not think the government needs support of the police to stay in power.

“Using the law enforcement in politics is the failure of the politicians themselves. They must come out of the practice for their own sake,” Huda added.

He pointed out that democracy and rule of law would be hampered unless the ‘unholy nexus’ between the police and the political elemnts is not broken.

The former IGP still believes the current election commission is trying its their best to conduct a credible election. He just feels that the EC authorities need to play a stronger role in ensuring a free and fair election.

Asked if fair election is possible in the context of filing of fictitious cases against the opposition leaders and activists, Huda expressed his views that mainly magistrates are responsible for dealing with such cases although the police initate the process.

He also emphasised the need for taking remedy from the court if misuse of cases is there in large scale.

* This piece, originally published as interview text in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English story format by Galib Ashraf

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