In a court of law in Bangladesh, Mr. Tareq Rahman, a political leader, begged the judge not to send him back to interrogation cell anymore. He described, under oath, how he was hanged from the ceiling and beaten mercilessly for days and nights.
Nobody cared, not a single soul spared a blink of an eye for that desperate appeal. Despite Tareq’s appeal, nobody talked about the torture. Even if some few novices dared refer to Tareq’s injuries, they were snubbed as lies. Days went by. The Tareq Rahman we used to see walk to the courts, can’t walk anymore. He even can not sit now. Last time he was seen in public, he was lying on a stretcher bed. Government assigned doctors are speaking, in TV camera that two bone of Tareq Rahman’s vertebral column are fractured. And still our conscientious world is busy enjoying the freak show of Tareq beating, the fun is not over yet, they are still not ready to complain at the torture (Or even call it a torture) Tareq Rahman endured under custody.
One of the suspected co-conspirators of 1/11 military takeover, the Daily Star published a shameful editorial today. In this editorial, meant to protest treatment on Tareq under custody, most of the space was used in playing the broken record to remind the readers how bad Tareq is. And the editors painstakingly chose words not to term Tareq a political prisoner, rather a prisoner for corruption. And not a single time, not for just one time, the word ‘torture’ has been mentioned in this mockery of the editorial. And look at daily Star’s sister newspaper, vernacular Prothom Alo. It published a first page report today. This report tries to downplay the torture allegations by stating that Tareq had back pain since 2005. It quotes a test (MRI) of 2005 that showed pinch nerve. What a corrupted journalism! How these editors are deceiving the people of Bangladesh for their petty interest! A huge proportion of adult has back pain or a pinch nerve. But Tareq’s test in 2005 did not show a fracture. A healthy young adult can not have a compression fracture of two thoracic vertebras without cancer or trauma. I do not know what this newspaper editor want to establish by printing this malicious news item it its first page. Does he want to say that torture did not happen? Or he is helping the government cover up a crime?
While we enjoy every moment, every aspect of extremely delicious Tareq beating, we fail to notice a black cloud looming at the horizon.
Good or bad, Tareq was no doubt an extremely powerful civil politician. Activists of one of the largest political parties of Bangladesh are behind him. Moreover, both of his parents were political leaders and democratically elected rulers of this country. Yet this man is picked up from his ex PM mother’s home, kept in undisclosed custody for unlimited days, hanged from the ceiling and is beaten mercilessly and is made crippled.
The power that has the audacity of perpetrating this crime, the power that enjoys the impunity of doing simply anything without accountability is a portion of Bangladesh armed forces. This is the same military (Not that it is a homogenous entity and all have the same mindset) which dared to raid the home of the founder of the nation, kill him and then chase and kill each and every single member of his family.
We may enjoy and clap at the torture on Tareq today. But let me warn those you who are so happy at the torture on Tareq. Today they may be crippling Tareq, but there is no guarantee they will not come after you tomorrow. A stretcher bound Tareq is a clear message for the country. Please try to listen to exactly what they are saying. They are saying that if they can do this to Tareq, they can do anything to anybody in Bangladesh at anytime. In this country we have two classes, one is the uncivilized corrupt, cluttered civilian class and the others are the blue blooded rulers and emancipators.