The big dhamaka arrest as usual with a lot of media hooping has made people even more suspicious. They have seen far too many of them and many think that this it's more for pr than anything else. Even though the RAB has been quite diligent in arresting people and showing them off, we have seen very few post arrest action. In fact even when RAB moves in and tries a criminal and sentences the same to jail, the person goes free as was the case of Haji Selim’s son, . ( ?????) So we do admire the scene of alleged criminals being arrested but we are a bit more cynical about what really happens to them in the end.
We have a long list of such arrests and the big one was around casino parlours of Dhaka and included mid-level political activists of the ruling party. We have no problem with what was the intent behind the arrests and all that but till date we have seen nothing about moving the cases. It seems the law and justice system needs a lot of rest and time to deal with such criminals and thieves and its best if it’s billed that way.
The issue is also that when casino or gambling goes away, something else takes their place. So yaba trade is exploding and with that has arrived other drugs. Crystal meth has entered in a big way and LSD might follow. We are clearly a peasant population who in the urban space don’t know how to manage our lives so though we can’t afford to be drug addicts, we do become so as a people.
It’s fine as far as independent addicts go but the social cost of drug addiction is high. And we are certainly not taking that into account. Nor is anyone looking at the sustained funding of crimes from a sustainable source. More significantly the rise of the drug economy as a major competitor of state authority is inevitable and threatens stability. Isolated encounter killings have had no impact and some law enforcement officials and lawmakers have been accused of collusion.
The criminal network
What it basically means is that a huge criminal activities, criminal support and criminal protection network exists, which has effectively neutralized the system that the Government claims to have to counter them. When people don’t know where the danger lies, the responsibility of warning lies with the GOB and in doing that the authorities have been effective.
One after another, criminals are arrested; pictures are taken and then the entire matter is lost in the black hole. Media meanwhile lunges for the next criminal to be displayed knowing well that it’s’ not much more than a media event.
This system can go on but if it has to stop, the best thing to do is to make sure the regulators are a little more honest, capable, efficient, etc and support the formal state which is in such short supply now. Otherwise drives against crime including the great sounding slogan, “zero tolerance against corruption” may begin to sound like a movie title more than reality.