A COUPLE of extrajudicial executions, which law enforcement described as “death in a shooting”, in a four-day interval and a few deaths in custody, which law enforcement described as “death caused by sudden illness,” within a seven-day interval raised concerns about the rule of law and the administration of justice. A young man suspected of being involved in gambling died in Lalmonirhat after law enforcement arrested him on April 14. In the latest incident, a businessman died in Brahmanbaria after law enforcement arrested him on April 21. In the cases, police said it was sudden illness that caused death while families alleged they died under torture in police custody. A man, the main defendant in the case of the murder of a journalist, who was shot dead in Cumilla on April 13, died in the district during a “firefight” with the Rapid Action Battalion on April 17. In the second such incident, a man suspected of being involved in a robbery died in another ‘shootout’ with the Rapid Action Battalion in Manikganj on 21 April. In both incidents, the battalion said it had to retaliate in “self-defence” when attacked.
Four incidents came in quick succession as no such incident had occurred for approximately four months since early December 2021, when the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on seven serving and former Action Battalion officials rapid on allegations of involvement in gross human rights violation in Bangladesh, have added to speculation about the deplorable return of these unconstitutional means of dispensing justice, further trampling on the rule of law and weakening the system judicial. The commission of such incidents at the hands of law enforcement only reinforces the reasons why the US Treasury Department imposed the sanctions and the US State Department in its 2021 National Human Rights Practices Reports man, made public on April 12, leveled allegations that Bangladesh’s security forces have enjoyed widespread impunity after committing rights abuses, with the government taking “little steps to investigate and prosecute cases of corruption, abuse and murder by the security forces”. This is where the government should wake up to the reality and put an end to these unconstitutional means which weaken the administration of justice, flout the rule of law and add to the bad reputation that Bangladesh has earned in the world outside for his rights violations. Such allegations of rights violations are an international outrage and shame Bangladesh and its citizens.
The government must therefore get out of the mode where law enforcement continues to violate the rights of citizens through unconstitutional means and government leaders often make statements, praising law enforcement for such acts, which encourage a new rights violation commission. While all rights violations must end, incidents such as extrajudicial executions in the name of “shootout”, “crossfire” and “encounter” and the death of citizens in police custody must end soon and once and for all. all.