The home ministry’s help has been sought to invoke the special powers act in order to give the highest punishment to those involved in communal violence, Law Minister Anisul Haque has said.
He disclosed this at a discussion on ‘The role of the government and civil society in eradicating communal terror’ in Dhaka’s Dhanmondi on Thursday evening.
“I say with certainty that those who had indulged in communal violence in Satkhira and other places will be in the dock,” the minister said, promising to bring the perpetrators of hate crime to justice.
He said the home ministry’s intervention had been sought to invoke the special powers laws in the trial of such people. “The trials will be swift and the highest punishment can be awarded, if they are tried under the special powers act. So we are trying to transfer these cases to speedy trial courts,” Haque said.
He urged the people to come forward in eradicating communal forces. “The government’s action alone will not be enough. These terrorists should be socially rejected and resisted,” he said.
He even urged the people not marry their children in families of BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami leaders and activists.
Among the participants in the discussion were former Chief Justice and Chairman of the Law Commission ABM Khairul Haque, National Human Rights Commission member Aroma Dutta, State Minister for Social Welfare Pramod Mankin and Prof Borhan Uddin Khan Jahangir.
Criticising the long-drawn judicial process, Haque said: “Nearly 2.8 million cases are pending in our courts, and there are just 1,700 judges. So, it is impossible to make the judicial process run normally.”
He said communal terror could be weeded out if the existing laws were effectively used.
The former Chief Justice pointed to a lack of accountability in the system. “Big criminals get bail and stay orders from the higher courts, and renew their threats. If criminals become heroes, their number will only keep increasing,” he said.
He sought the Law Minister’s intervention to make the country’ present laws more effective.
ABM Khairul Haque also sharply criticised Bangladesh’s investigative agencies. “Reports filed by our investigative agencies make it almost impossible for the judges to do anything. To prevent this, these agencies will have to be made more accountable.”
Source: Bd news24