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“Don’t the police have the right to protect themselves?”: PM on clashes

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Regarding the BNP-police clashes throughout the country, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today (September 1, 2022) said the police were just protecting themselves.

“Don’t the police have the right to protect themselves when they come under attack, since they are the police? Their remarks seem like they (police) can’t do anything even after bombs, sticks and brickbats are hurled towards them, or if they come under gun attack,” she said.

“It is normal that opposition parties will wage movement. Yes, I told the police to say [do] nothing [to the opposition’s programme]. That is right, but the police did not say [do] anything at first. If a man comes under attack, the person has the right to protect himself or herself, let alone police,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina, also the Leader of the House, said this while delivering her valedictory speech in the 19th session of the current 11th parliament.

The premier made the remarks as BNP MP Rumeen Farhana elected from reserved seats for women in parliament earlier in the House claimed that BNP’s programmes came under attacks in different places including Bhola despite the prime minister’s clear instructions that the programme of the opposition would not be obstructed.

Sheikh Hasina said she promised that no one would say anything in case of peaceful procession and movement.

“Where the programmes are peaceful, no one says [did] anything there,” she said.

She said BNP men try to go for attacks or create a situation for media coverage.

Criticising a section of media and opposition parties, the PM said they are spreading frustration in recent times as if everything is going to be destroyed. “But they [critics] are in good condition.”

Referring to a recent report of the World Bank, she said Bangladesh is not in food risk. The IMF also in its evaluation on August 16 last remarked that Bangladesh is in no crisis, she added.

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