Tuesday, January 8, 2008

STATEMENT:Trial of the offenders of Extra- judicial killing in the name of Operation Clean Heart and Cross Fire is a necessary demand of the citizens

Adv. Shahanur Islam Saikot Programme Manager-Legal & Human Rights In the preamble of the constitution of Bangladesh it has been clearly declared that “ it shall be a fundamental aim of the state to realize through the democratic process of socialist society, free from exploitation- a society in which the rule of law, fundamental human rights and freedom, equality and justice, political, economic and social, will be secured for all citizen”. It is well known to the whole national and international communities that the last BNP-Jamat government in the name of controlling deterioration of law and order situation deployed army in the year 2003. The army thus deployed, termed their operation as so called operation clean heart. In the name of controlling law and order the army jumped upon the people of Bangladesh with ferocious actions upon anybody to show their might by virtue of military arsenal as if they were taking revenge against the people of some occupied territories. Hundred and thousands were arrested, tortured and permanently disabled. About 58 persons were killed which was shown justified as death from heart attack. In the face of national & international criticism off late the BNP-Jamat government was compelled to withdraw the Army but for their safe exit from facing trial the government with brute majority in the parliament passed indemnity bill and thereby the doors of rule of law, fundamental human rights, equality & justice have been closed for the citizen in violation of the constitution Art. 7(2). The Army of operation clean heart was immediately replaced by another army dominated force in the name of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB). They also followed the same road map of operation clean heart through massive arrest, inhuman torture and extra-judicial killing in the name of crossfire. Till today death of so-called crossfire have been effected upon the person in the custody of RAB. But if there would have been any crossfire between the RAB and the associates of person in custody in order to protect snatching from custody then definitely some of the members of those associates would have been injured, arrested or killed by the RAB firing on the spot of cross fire, every occasion, in the dead hour of night. But why in each occasion only the arrested person with severe injuries of torture as well as hand cuff has become the victim of death in between Cross fire of two parties i.e. RAB & associates of the person in custody, while on run to escape from custody. There is specific law to punish the person of law enforcing agencies from whose custody an arrested person escapes. But there is not a single instant of such punishment against anybody of law enforcing agencies from whose custody the arrested person could escape. The above-unresolved questions clearly prove that the killing were not due to cross fire in effecting arrest in course of escape from custody. Those were cool blooded murders. So far more than 500 such cool blooded murders have been committed by RAB and also by the police in the name of cross fire. Attempts were taken to institute cases against those murder but neither any court nor the police entertained any of the cases under the interference of government. The justice cried but lost its path in the darkness of injustice. The killing in the name of operation Clean Heart were committed with the consent of the then chief of staff of Army Lt. Gen. Hasan Mashood Chowdhury who is now chairman of Anti Corruption Commission. 1st Director General of RAB Mr. Anwoarul Iqbal who is now an Advisor of the present Caretaker Government initiated the killings in the name of cross fire. Since those 2 persons who were liable for the killing are holding top posts of the present Government so there is no possibility to bring the killers before justice for trail and punishment. Now the caretaker government has agreed to form Human Rights Commission in concurrence of the 1948 charter of Human Rights of United Nations Organization. So the humanity conscious world communities should immediately come forwarded with strong agenda to bring those bruit killing before justice for trial and punishment so that in future the law enforcing agencies of Bangladesh will have respect to protect the human right of every citizen. Let only the humanity but nothing else is supreme and above everything be established in Bangladesh for our generation of 21st century.