Stop violence at any cost, I take all liability: PM tells police

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked police to take stern action to stop violence during the ongoing BNP-sponsored transport blockade across Bangladesh.

Published : 28 Jan 2015, 08:02 AM
Updated : 28 Jan 2015, 10:20 AM

She told top police officials at a meeting in her office on Tuesday to control the ongoing violence 'at any cost'.

"There's should be no hesitation, no two ways about it. Whatever happens I will take the liability," said Hasina.

At least 38 people have died and over 200 were injured, mostly in incidents of arson, since Jan 5, when BNP chief Khaleda Zia called the indefinite blockade.

"It is you who have to ensure security for the people. And to do so, whatever stern measures are needed, take them without any hesitation; I give you the liberty," Hasina told top officials of Police Headquarters, metropolitan, divisional and district units.

This is the strongest message so far given by the prime minister since the BNP blockade started on Jan 5 and which the ruling Awami League says 'forecloses all possibilities of a dialogue'.

Referring to arson during shutdowns and blockades, Hasina said:"These are totally terrorist and militant activities. Do whatever needed to stop these because the people expect you (police) to do so."

According to the prime minister, the people are now fed up and they expect these terrorist activities curbed sternly. "It's the government's responsibility to ensure public safety. And you have an important role regarding that."

Lauding the police for handling violent incidents during the rising political tensions over the first anniversary of Jan 5 elections, Hasina advised law enforcers to involve local people to confront troublemakers.

"Unite people from all walks of life who want peace. Also engage the elected representatives as well the RAB, Ansar, BGB to stop these militant activities at any cost," Hasina told police officials.