Amid a spree of so-called shootouts, noted rights activist Sultana Kamal yesterday raised question about its legitimacy, demanding fair investigation into each incident.
“We need to know whether firearms have been misused,” she said.
She was addressing a Meet the Press at Dhaka Reporters Unity, arranged by rights and development organisations on a review of Bangladesh’s Universal Periodic Review before the UN Human Rights Council.
Centre for Social Activism (CSA), Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD), Kapaeeng Foundation, and Network of Non-Mainstreamed Marginalised Communities arranged the meet-the-press.
In the past two days, 14 persons, most of them alleged drug peddlers, have been killed in “shootouts” across the country.
The drives come on the heels of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and other government high-ups expressing a firm stance against the drug menace.
“It is a pity to see five to six persons have to die in ‘shootouts’ each day,” said Sultana Kamal, chairperson of CSA.
She lauded the government’s anti-narcotics stance, but said there are laws in the country to try criminals.
However notorious the criminals are, the state will formulate some rules and justice has to be done as per those rules, she said.
“And if he is proven guilty, he has to be handed due punishment,” she said.
“Despite having laws for trying accused persons in illegal drug-related cases, some people have been labeled as drug peddlers and they were put in ‘shootouts’ or got killed,” said Sultana.
She said rights activists have repeatedly been demanding proper investigation into each of the “shootout” incidents, to know whether people are actually dying in shootouts.
Firearms are being used in an alarming number of occasions each day now, she added.
Updated On: May 22, 2018