Sunday, August 18, 2019 | ePaper

Gunfight still a popular method for extrajudicial killings

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NEWS media reported that five people, including two Rohingya men and two suspected robbers, were killed in "gunfights" in Jashore, Cox's Bazar and Pabna. The gunfight or encounter has emerged as the popular method of extrajudicial killing in the country for many years, though human rights campaigners expressed their dissatisfaction from time to time. With the latest gunfight of accused drug peddlers and human traffickers after the last year when at least 373 drug peddlers were killed in gunfights.
In Cox's Bazar, three people, including two Rohingya refugees of Myanmar, were killed in separate 'gunfights' in Cox's Bazar Sadar and Teknaf upazilas early Tuesday. The Rohingya refugees from Myanmar were killed as suspected human traffickers in a "gunfight" with police. A suspected drug peddler was killed allegedly in a gunfight with the police at Katapahar in the early morning. Police seized 400 Yaba pills, a light gun and two cartridges from the spot. In Jashore and Pabna two suspected robbers were killed allegedly in gunfights between two gangs of robbers and police respectively.
What we see that, the law enforcers though killing alleged criminals one after another in name of gunfight, they have apparently failed to reduce the crime rate. Specifically, the drug trade is not yet under control even after killing several hundred petty peddlers in the recent months. In this process, extrajudicial killing has become virtually legal, though there are many verdicts of the court against extrajudicial murder, abusing law enforcers' power and constitutional protection of citizens. Every extrajudicial killing is nothing but the violation of human rights and a hit to the Constitution and the notion of rules of law.
The extrajudicial killing is not only misappropriation of the power of law enforcers rather the government is the mastermind of the extrajudicial killing. It seldom follows the judicial path, and so, it will have to take sole responsibility for the extrajudicial killings. We do believe, the prime and foremost duty of the government is to protect citizens' rights and uphold their dignity.

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