Sunday, June 24, 2018 | ePaper

Bangladesh was not so brutal, it has been made so

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Amid the horror of killing of more than one hundred persons by RAB operation condemning them as drug dealers came the news of gruesome death of  Municipality Councilor Ekramul Haque jolting the conscience of the whole nation. The repeated pleas of innocence from his wife and child was no consideration for saving his life. My appeal is to all to feel for our people.
The heartbreaking incident brought to light the carefreeness with which lives in a free country can be lost. The story was in the media for few days. By now, knowingly near about two hundred people lost their lives and killing continues.
The people are panicked and hopelessly helpless in the hands of their own people. Though this is not the first time such killing operation was sanctioned allowing deaths in gunfights.
 The saddest thing remains, our people are killing their own people outside the judicial process. The government is unrestrained. We are living brutally as a nation. None of us should feel he is unaffected and
 safe. Bangladesh was not so  brutal, it has been made so.
No nation that achieved independence through armed struggle cannot be so faint-hearted. This should lead us to question our minds and search our hearts about the nature of the liberation war conducted from India under the leadership of India.
The very history of the birth of Bangladesh made us a feeble players to protect and enjoy freedom, and we have proved incapable of overcoming the failures in our public life. The power struggle has become more dangerous, if anything. The idea of good governance and rule of law are fast receding into a thin air. Without deceiving one-self, it is impossible for anybody to be an optimist that our situation improving peacefully.
With the creation of Bangladesh a section of our people returned from India was too keen to depict Bangladesh as a dangerous country as never before to suit the purpose foreign to us. Killing operations became regular. Yet, crimes of all kinds are soaring. The police, especially, RAB are being used for all purpose solutions. But no solution was achieved because our politics has not been about solution.
The angry local Awami League leaders met Asaduzzaman Khan, the Home Minister to tell him that they knew him well and they did not find Ekram involved in drug business. They demanded exemplary punishment. No punishment will bring back Ekram to his wife and children. Then the question remains that nobody was killed after proving his guilt. It is futile to seek justice under the present system of killing without trial because the decision was taken politically at the highest level.
 The people are being killed denying them access to justice whereas the modern justice system is in favour of abolishing death sentence even for the worst criminals. The view taken is that extreme death sentence is not the effective way to fight dangerous crimes. The measures to prevent crime is the best way to protect society and bring order.
Killing is easy, running a government is not.
Our law enforcers cannot be ignorant about their obligation to protect life as a guarantee under the Constitution. We must not forget that we and our children have nowhere to go but to live in this country with others.
 Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan sounds sincere when he says that everybody will be brought under the lawful process, and nobody is above law. The simple question is: If nobody is above law then how police can kill people on the basis of the list prepared by his Ministry? Where is the law?
 Another thing we must remind  all is that killing in self-defence or in crossfire has to be proved in a court of law. It is murder if the court does not exonerate the killing as done in self-proclaimed self-defence. It is not a proof of self-defence merely because police or the Home Minister says so.
There is another aspect of killing by police, that is  damage being done to the police discipline when they are permitted to kill without trial in a court.
Killing of real drug dealers is welcome if the people know that they are drug barons. Why the government does not have the honesty and courage to try openly the listed criminals in a court of law? Our courts are also deeply concerned about life threatening drugs. If the government is serious, there is nobody who will not support punishing godfathers of drug business if done openly.
 However sure one is, no government can remain in power for ever. So the people in power now should not set such dangerous examples of getting people killed in police crossfire unlawfully.
The drug business is a huge business of thousands of crores of taka and many powerful men in the government are also involved. The people are suspicious that the accomplices are killed so that the godfathers can be saved.
 MP Bodi is the much talked about godfather of drug business enjoying protection from the government. One example of MP Bodi speaks volumes as to how unsafe life has become for everybody except those who are protected by the government even when they are dangerous criminals. What a free country we live in! Denying access to justice is so easy and so fatal for human lives.
 Our hope lies in showing our determination to embrace change to build a free Bangladesh our people dreamt of. Where we shall be our own masters and shall live free from fear. Where state sponsored corruption and brutality will have no place. We must do what we must to deserve what is best for us.

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