Video of a policeman criticising a boy’s haircut at a barbershop in Faridpur has gone viral, sparking a discussion about police action and individual liberty
A facebooker, who works as a reporter for a private television channel, posted a peculiar status in the social media site on Saturday.
When roughly translated from Bangla, the status read, "Only the police haircut is a civil haircut. We must build a social movement against any other type of haircuts. The workload of the police has decreased."
"So, to provide them with more work, contact nearby policemen so that they can decide what haircut your children should be getting. By the way, are the police also paying the bill for the haircuts? I want to get a haircut too."
The status may sound strange without any context, so the facebooker also shared a video on her account. It shows Abul Kalam Azad – a sub-inspector of Bhanga police station in Faridpur district – visiting a local barber shop and criticising a boy's haircut on Friday.
When a school student named Jahid Hossain was getting his hair cut at the saloon, police officer Abul Kalam Azad was present there with the boy's father. In the video, Azad was heard saying, "Do you support this TikTok haircut? We should create a social movement against such haircuts."
However, experts termed the Sub inspector's move as unlawful, adding that the police cannot take such action and deprive a person of his individual liberty.
Responding to a query, Bhanga Police Station's Officer-in-Charge Shafiqul Islam told the Business Standard, "The policeman personally took the action as part of his social responsibility. Under our social perspective, a police officer can take such action."
However, Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua – also a human rights activist – said, "The police cannot take such action lawfully. This is not policing, it is a totally unauthorised action. A man's haircut is his personal choice, and the police should not interfere with it.
"If a haircut causes problems to others, only then the police can interfere on the matter."
Commenting on the matter, Sub Inspector Abul Kalam Azad said, "As I was performing my duties, a parent came to me with a complaint against his son. The father told me that his son's haircut was not civil, and the boy refused to change it after his father asked him to.
"The parent then requested me to help change his son's haircut. When I went to the saloon to help the father, he accompanied me there."
The video of the student and the police officer has gone viral on social media, and has attracted the attention of many netizens.
Another Facebook user commented under the video, "Police should focus on curbing the narcotics [trade] and other crimes. All criminal activities are increasing, but the police are not giving their attention to reducing it. How will my haircut be? It is my own decision."
On the night of August 3, police arrested popular TikTok content creator Yasin Arafat Opu, along with an associate, on charges of assaulting, harassing and beating-up people in the Uttara area of the capital.