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09th-May-2014

Those who think they are the law must be stopped

By Editorial Desk

The gruesome deaths of Narayangonj panel mayor Nazrul Islam and senior lawyer Chandan Sarker, among others, are finally bringing to the fore the incidents of abduction and premeditated killings which have made the lives of many people in the country insecure. The drama which unfolded over the clinical way in which they were killed and found floating in a river did not end with the killing - it has left the entire nation galvanized over how the murders could take place.
Although the incident took place over a week ago the main accused are yet to be found - prime accused Nur Hossain, a  ward councilor of Narayangonj, is still absconding along with the other five accused. Meanwhile three officers of RAB, including the  CO of RAB - 11 have been dismissed and are no longer part of the armed forces and will face charges in regular courts if they are found to have any part in the killings - as they are said to have been by the father-in-law of Nazrul Islam.
Papers have been reporting on the mysterious disappearances of many citizens - including opposition party activists, for quite sometime. It has taken the murder of a prominent member of the ruling party to finally bring the issue to the fore and make the government sit up and take notice.
At the core of the matter, some issues exist. Firstly why was he alongwith his accomplices and his lawyer killed --- was it a question of simple rivalry between the main accused and the victim - or was it because the two were under the patronage of rival leaders of their own party and thus a victim of a simple power play? How was it possible for RAB men - including the CO of RAB-11 --- a relative of a powerful minister, to have connections with the accused and abet the crime, as per the accusations of the victims father-in-law? Even after more than 10 days have elapsed and the IO of the case been replaced, why has no headway been made into the killing? Why are the victims' family being threatened with forced abductions?
It has been known for a long time that a nexus exists between politics and criminals - so-called godfathers who rule over a city or parts of a city with near impunity because they think themselves above the law - and indeed they have no cause to worry because they are in close proximity with the very law enforcers who are supposed to uphold the laws. Thus they feel that they can do what they please and act as judge, jury, and executioner.
When will our politicians realize that they are dependent for their power not on the ability of any political party to marshal bands of thugs but on the wishes of the electorate as they exercise their ability to franchise? Godfathers are not needed to win votes - winning the hearts of the electorate by running a clean and corruption free government is sufficient. The democratic system, by instituting a system of checks and balances, as extolled by the votes of its citizens, thus ensures, if sufficiently exercised, that no one party stays in power forever and thus sufficient respect exists among the party members for the rule of law as they know that once out of power they will be held accountable for any misdeeds. When this sequence of staying in power and then being voted out is broken, a false preconception of immunity exists which makes the members of anyone party feel that they will never be held accountable. Thus by an inevitable sequence of events they feel no fear in breaking laws as they think themselves to be the law.