Violence and more violence is not the end of terrorism07 December 2016 Editorial Desk
The sequential phases of the above killings can only take place in a country where lawlessness prevails, in terms of, ensuring safety and security to its citizens; a country that has failed to safeguard the lives and properties of its people and where justice seems more like an illusion. Apparently Bangladesh may not be deemed as such failed state, but then again is the state instrument truly functioning to protect us while ensuring our safe existence.
Not that case of disappearances, abductions and killings are new but we are horrified since their numbers have shot-up alarmingly in recent years. By now we have become rather habituated in the face of repeated abductions and dissident murder cases. They occur, the police come to investigate and then nothing happens. Coupled with shocking rates in child kidnapping cases 2016 has been another year marred by enforced abductions and extra-judicial killings.
Referring to the killings of Natore Juba League leaders and others, the frightening rise in the number of killings of political activists in Bangladesh since the last disputed Parliamentary Polls has left grassroots campaigners across the country fearing for their lives.
Following 2015 and now, a survey of national newspapers conducted by the Human Rights Organization indicated the number of enforced disappearance to be at least 43; the unofficial number is even higher. Of the 43, six were later found dead; four were released after their abduction; and five were found in police custody. The fate and whereabouts of the other 28 is still unknown. The question arises involuntarily, who to be hold accountable and responsible for the 28 unknown lives? The human rights scenario gets even bleaker with a dreadful 137 reported cases of extra-judicial killings and 70 enforced disappearances till last October.
The pressing need of the hour for the government is to concede to the sad truth, that its law enforcing instrument to guarantee safety and protection of its citizens isn't functioning. In such extreme insecure, unsafe and perilous of times - not the last election manifesto or the millennium development goals - the government should actually go back to the very basics of the rule book.
Open the national Constitution and mull over the very article that clearly states: The Constitution of Bangladesh guarantees the entire major internationally recognized human rights and assures good governance, incorporated in its fundamental principles of State Policy and fundamental rights. However, the same Constitution negates these rights through adoption of numerous anti-democratic stipulations.
It cannot be an answer for all disappearances that they might have joined terrorist groups or are in hiding. No responsible Home Minster should be ready with such an unacceptable answer however helpless or powerless he is.
What the government is not capable of realising is that use of violence and more violence must not be seen as success in fighting terrorism. Terrorism is being helped by arbitrary use of police power and depending on police power.
We need political solution and a capable government.