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Yet another manifestation of law and order downslide

Bangladesh on 01 August 2013
Location : Bangladesh | Source : New Age.

THE killing of the organising secretary of the Dhaka (south) city unit of the Juba League, an associate organisation of the ruling Awami League for youths, in the capital Dhaka early Tuesday certainly puts to test the oft-repeated claim by the home minister and some of his colleagues on the AL-led government of unprecedented improvement in law and order. According to a report published in New Age on Wednesday, the deceased was shot in the head almost at point blank, in front of a shopping mall at Gulshan. The Rapid Action Battalion has already arrested six suspects; one of them, the joint secretary of the same Juba League unit, according to the RAB 1 commanding officer, confessed to his involvement in the killing, out of ‘personal, business and political conflicts’ with the victims. Footages of close-circuit cameras installed at the entrance of the market also show him shooting at the victim. It is pertinent to note here that, a few hours back, on Monday night, unknown gunmen shot dead a leader of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party at Hazaribagh in the capital.

Yet, the joint commissioner (south) of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police is reported to have termed the killings ‘isolated incidents’; in other words, these incidents do not represent the overall law and order situation in the capital. Such a statement tends to indicate that top law enforcement officials could be either in denial of the situation on the ground or unwilling to address the pervasive sense of insecurity across society over the sustained and steep rise in crime in the capital as elsewhere in the country in recent years, especially since the AL-led government assumed office in January 2009. One can also refer in this connection to the failure so far of the police to find out even clues to a number of horrific killings, including the one of the journalist couple Sagar and Runi, which rocked the nation. There are reasons to believe that, while rampant politicisation of the police administration along the incumbents’ partisan line in the past four and a half years may have resulted in the force’s being indifferent to ground realities, noncompliance with the pledges made by the government high-ups, particularly the home minister, soon after the killings in the city in particular to hand down exemplary punishment to the perpetrators has also given indulgence to dismal performance of the police.

The government needs to realise that repeated murders, targeted and otherwise, that too, without any redress, cause some sense of insecurity among citizens which may end up encouraging them into taking law in their own hands putting the rule of law that it has pledged in its election manifesto to establish at jeopardy altogether. None can deny that the rise in the incident of mob lynching across the country in recent times may signal the beginning of such an unfortunate situation.

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