It was 8:30pm of Monday. Qudrat Ali, 53, at Alamdanga upazila town in Chuadanga was busy selling garment products at his shop when he received a phone call from a sub-inspector of local police station.
“Police asked me where my son Alawal Islam, 17, an HSC first year student, was. As I failed to reply, the police official asked me to go to police station. I hurriedly rushed there and found my son among a group of over 30 people aged between 12 to 18 years,” Kudrat said.
“Around 25 other guardians of the upazila were also called to the police station that time.
Police asked us why our children were out of home at night when they were supposed to be at reading table,” he said.
Abu Zihad Md Fakhrul Alam Khan, officer-in-charge (OC) of Alamdanga Police Station, said, “We had been observing that the young people, especially school and college goers, often roam on the streets or gossip at tea stalls after the evening. Many of them stay out of home even around 10:00pm, evading their study at home.”
“After discussing with our higher authorities at the district level, we decided to take steps in this regard. On Monday night, police brought 37 boys from different spots of the upazila town to the police station and asked them why they were out of home. They failed to give any satisfactory answer,” the OC said.
“Police later called the guardians of the boys, several teachers of local schools and colleges, journalists and public representatives to the police station. In their presence, the boys promised that they will not stay out of home after evening without necessity,” he said.
Afterwards police released all the boys.
This correspondent talked to several guardians and teachers over phone yesterday.
“This can be an eye opener for the boys and their guardians” said Nur E Alam Tonik, an NGO job holder, who has very little time for taking care of his 15-year-old son.
Thanking the local police for the initiative, Anwarul Azam Khan, a high school teacher in the upazila, said, “It is a good initiative and I am sure the step will bring positive result.”