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Extra-judicial killing is a form of terrorism and bad for public faith in police

By Editorial Desk
09th-Sep-2016       
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Shahbagh Police Station OC Abu Bakr Siddiqui said a white Toyota car was found moving suspiciously near Paltan around 6am on September 6. Police asked the vehicle to stop but it sped away. It was chased through New Market and Kalabagan and finally blocked  at Dhanmondi Road 3. He said that the occupants of the car tried to flee when they found themselves cornered. That is when police fired at them.

Two of them, 'Sagar' and Hazrat Ali,were hit by bullets while a third person, Abul Bashar, was arrested, said OC Siddiqui. He said Bashar had earlier been booked in cases of 'snatching' at Shahbagh Police Station but managed to secure bail. Bashar resumed criminal activities after securing bail.

After the two injured suspects were taken to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital, 'Sagar' was declared dead by doctors.  Siddiqui said a female student of Eden College had complained about her bag being snatched by car-borne criminals earlier in the day when she was travelling to Kalyanpur by rickshaw.

Earlier this year the main opposition party  BNP  demanded a judicial probe for all incidents of extra-judicial killing including the death of arrested militant Golam Faizullah Fahim who was killed in police gunfight in June 2016. Any extra-judicial killing must be investigated to convince the people that police used killing in self-defence.

It is critical that people when either in direct police custody or facing imminent arrest by the police or other security apparatus of the government are treated in a manner by the forces which is not in accordance with the laws of the land. Under no circumstances should the security forces act as judge, jury, or executioner - but it is unfortunate that they are suspected of doing so in the eyes of the general public.

Politicisation of the police or the intelligent agencies can only result in an increase in inefficiency and ineptitude - giving the impression to all that they are immune to any response, deaf to all pleas. This is hardly the model for any security force for any country. We don't want our law enforcers to be used as law breakers to help build a lawless society.

Whether it is an opposition party activist, or a common criminal, or a heinous militant - all should have equal protection of the law against extra-judicial killings. There is already a strong tendency for the alleged criminals to suddenly become the victims of shoot outs or crossfire. When incidents such as these occur routinely then the repeated condemnations by the press and civil society cannot be avoided and we get bad publicity in the outside world. The idea that the dead were criminals and deserved what they got is not getting public acceptance.

We are convinced as others can be that killing without trial is terrorism and will not contain terrorism. In the long run terrorism will reemerge in a more dangerous form. 

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