“Gunfights” and the rule of law

"Gunfights" and the rule of law

Three deaths in three “gunfights” took place in Dhaka and Jessore in a span of just two days. As usual, questions have been raised concerning these gunfights. These incidents have simply reinforced the long-standing allegations of extra-judicial killings against the law enforcement agencies. The pitiful predicament of the country’s rule of law has been highlighted once again.

The family of Mesbah Uddin Tarek, who died in a “gunfight” with Detective Branch (DB) police in Mugda of the city, claim that he was picked up from home and killed. DB police came up with the same old story, that he was an arms dealer. If he was indeed an arms dealer, then why didn’t the police take adequate precautions against any “gunfight” when they took him to identify his associates and recover firearms?

In Jessore, police state that Osman Dafadar who was killed in a “gunfight” at Manirampur, was accused in a robbery and theft case. His family claim there was no case against him. He too was killed under similar circumstances, in a gunfight during an “arms recovery operation”.

The local people had wanted Kala Babu, accused of three murders in Maghbazar, to be caught, but he too was killed in a “gunfight” with DB police. It was the same story all over again.

The law enforcers perhaps do not consider these three incidents as a reflection of their failure. It is the duty of the law enforcers to nab the criminals and hand them over to the law with the required information and evidence. If they kill the criminals in the process, that is stark failure on their part.

If the government has deliberately taken up this strategy to catch and kill criminals, then they should come out in the open and admit that the rule of law is not in effect. “Gunfights” and the rule of law cannot co-exist.

Source: Prothom Alo


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