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Crossfire: A tale of recovering arms

This is a real tale about the extra judicial killing in Bangladesh. Plot is always the same. Law enforcing agencies like Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) will go out with an arrested guy at midnight or dawn. Their aim is to recover illegal arms. Suddenly the companions of that arrested guy will attack RAB and try to snatch their companion. The members of RAB will have the right to protect themselves. So they will open fire to the attackers. With in a short time the attackers will leave the scene and RAB will find the arrested guy as shot dead. They will also discover some illegal arms from the scene. Here the tale comes to end. But tale with this plot is going on and on.It seems that no one can stop this. Even the present Foreign Minister of the country has told that stopping the culture of crossfire is not possible over night. So people presume that it is like a cleansing process. Terrorists will be killed without any trial. Ordinary people will also suffer. But the issue of human rights is always unsolved here. May be, most of the victims of crossfire are terrorist. They were becoming real problem for the society. Is it sufficient enough to kill them? People sometimes celebrate the death-news. Because they suffer for the terrorists.
Human rights activists are concerned about extra judicial killing. Amnesty International (A.I.) has expressed deep concern about Bangladesh in its recent report. The report was published at the end of May. According to A.I., at least 54 people had died in the process of extra judicial killing in the first six months of 2008. Crossfire process was on over the year. No one had to face accountability for the killing. Government has promised for inquiry and punishment. But none has heard to take any action.
Last month newspapers published the Amnesty International’s report and their concern. At the same page there was news about cross fire. This time the victims are the students. Here the plot is slightly different. The two students were walking beside the RAB check post. RAB men asked them to stop. According to RAB, the students opened fire on them immediately and RAB also reacted then. And the students died in crossfire.
According to the brother of one of the dead students, his brother was not the member of any terrorist group. Even there is no complain against him at the police stations. He demanded fair inquiry and proper punishment to the Prime Minister and Home Minister.
Crossfire, shoot out, encounter- all are very common word to Bangladeshi people now. Almost every month citizens are facing unexpected death. RAB has been operational since June 2004. From the very beginning their crossfire drama is going on. At the first anniversary (March 27, 2005) of RAB the Deputy Minister for Home Affairs Lutfozzaman Babar said, ‘Those who are killed in crossfire or encounter are criminals. Criminals cannot have human rights’. But the law says that every person has the right to seek trial. Minimum force should be applied for arrest. Legal provisions are fully ignored here and crossfire is going on. No body knows about its ending. They are also in doubt about this. The region has a long history of crossfire. In 1970s, during the reign of Indira Gandhi’s Congress government many Nakshal activists were killed in crossfire or in the process of cleansing. After 1971, Rakkhi Bahini had arrested many Shorbohara guerrillas. Their leader Siraj Shikder was dead by crossfire. In 2001, Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s government ordered for Operation Clean Heart. Many people were killed in custody during the operation. There was complain of beating or torturing against the activists of Operation Clean Heart. Government has given amnesty to them. So their activities have become legalized. Later when RAB was formed people criticized it as Rakkhi bahini is Again Back. RAB had become known to all for crossfire. Bangladesh Awami League was in the opposition at that time. The party promised to dismantle RAB and to stop extra judicial killing. After 1/11 of Bangladesh people had not heard about crossfire so much. But extra judicial killing was not stopped. Indigenous leader Cholesh Risil was killed in custody. Political leaders and suspected terrorists faced severe torture by the law enforcing agencies.
Now in 2009 Bangladesh Awami League, who promised to stop extra judicial killing, is in power. But killing mission is still on.
Denying crossfire: At the month of May Foreign Minister Dr. Dipu Moni said, ‘stopping the culture of crossfire is not possible over night’. People could understand from her comment that at least Government is admitting the incidents of crossfire. But on 7th June State Minister for Home (Deputy Home Minister) Sohel Taz has completely denied the crossfire drama. Even he has told that there was no crossfire during the tenure of this Government. He has blamed the previous Government for crossfire.
Deputy Home Minister’s comment has become very strange to the country people.

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June 7, 2009 - Posted by | National

1 Comment »

  1. this is a very serious story. I am afraid

    Comment by nanny | July 20, 2009 | Reply


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