Perpetrators of Amin Bazar killings must be brought to justice
WHAT happened at Amin Bazar in Savar on the outskirts of the capital Dhaka in the early morning of July 18, 2011, when six young men were beaten to death by people from nearby villages on mere suspicion that they were planning a robbery, remains an indelible stain on society’s collective conscience. As it was reported in the media then, the ill-fated six, all students of different educational institutions in Dhaka, had gone to Keblar Char after offering prayers through Shab-e-Barat, according to a friend who was with them but survived the mob beating, on an outing and taken drugs ‘for fun’. The Dhaka district superintendent of police had then told journalists that ‘the tragic incident proves how terrible the consequences could be if people take law in their own hand.’ However, as we commented in these columns in reaction to the incident, the police — and, for that matter, the government — should know that people take law in their own hand only when they lose faith in the justice system and the law enforcement mechanism, that such incidents provide a poignant pointer on increasing lawlessness and growing sense of insecurity in society. We also traced the incident to the incumbents’ failure to send a strong message across society that extrajudicial killing, be it by members of law enforcement agencies or an angry crowd, is unacceptable and will be dealt with an iron hand. Regrettably, however, these words seem to have fallen on deaf ears, so suggests the fact that the killers of the six students have not been identified, let alone prosecuted and punished, although a year has passed since the harrowing incident took place.
According to a report front-paged in New Age on Wednesday, the Criminal Investigation Department, which is now in charge of the case, has admitted that it does not have any revealing information although its members are trying to identify the killers. However, such assurances are unlikely to provide any solace to the friends and relatives of the hapless six young men; after all, if the investigators are still all at sea even after one year of the killing, what guarantee is there that they will make a breakthrough anytime soon. Moreover, identifying the killers seems to be just one aspect of the case in question. Notably, a judicial investigation committee and another inquiry initiated by the police into the incident concluded that the law enforcers had not rescued the students although they could have easily done so. In other words, the investigators need to identify the law enforcers whose negligence might have been a major reason why the killing took place in the first place — the sooner the better.
There is no denying that, given the sustained law and order downslide and the law enforcers’ failure to contain crime, people’s faith in the law enforcement system has eroded significantly and will continue to do so until the law enforcers come up with credible proof of success in the fight against crime. Identifying the killers of the Amin Bazar killing and bringing them to justice would be a good start to this end.
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