All killings create panic, not a sense of security27 July 2016 Editorial Desk
The city woke up in panic again on Tuesday morning as the news of killing of nine suspected militants by Joint Forces at a house in Kalyanpur on the Mirpur Road spread. It appears that the nation is open to any shock now anytime. All educational institutions in the area were shut yesterday to allow people to overcome the panic from the fact that militants were living in the area and from police shootouts in early morning. It came no sooner had the dust of militants' attacks settled that profoundly panicked the nation by killings in Gulshan Café and Sholakia Eidgah ground. Militants were able to kill so many people on those occasions but police this time killed militants found together in a house. The question remains why they could not be arrested alive. That would have given the general public a sense of security. What we think should be seriously pursued is that police do not behave like militants and do not kill the innocents. The police actions should be very transparent for the people to know they have the confidence that police story cannot be doubted. That is why many wondered whether police had any other option like arresting them alive. If they were arrested alive, it would have promoted public confidence in police that they are not just a killing machine but really fighting crime while remaining anxious to save lives. In yesterday's action militants were not in a position to challenge the police. They were attacked in surprise. Media report said the militants who were killed yesterday were aged between 22 and 25 and highly educated living in the mess-house. Police said they went for action on information that the militants were preparing for a big operation similar to earlier mindless killings. But it is the police version. Our well-trained police should not have acted so hurriedly without following them to catch them at the place of operation. That would have been very convincing. Police, RAB and SWAT forces cordoned the area and easily killed them. One suspected militant was able to flee while another who claimed to be a cook was arrested with bullet injuries. He is now receiving treatment at Dhaka Medical College Hospital. We appreciate police anxiety to fight terrorism, and provide security to the people. Killings whether done by police or militants mean loss of lives. Police action must be saving lives and saving evidence to know more about the militants. When killings take place in the hands of police then it has to be justified by producing evidence. So killings must not be taken as an easy option by law abiding forces while fighting terrorism.The disappearance of a leading businessman and President of Dutch-Bangla Chamber of Commerce and Industry from the city three days ago and the recovery of his body from a river shows killings are only growing in all walks of life. His killing will not help to revive confidence of business community. Whoever picked up and killed, the government will be seen as failing to provide security. The militants and police cannot compete in killing. The police is for saving lives unless their own lives are threatened. Police can justify killing only when unavoidable in confrontation with the militants.