South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

Both ruling and opposition lawmakers in parliament yesterday voiced concern over border killings, law and order slide and the sorry state at police stations across the country.

They demanded that the government take effective measures to address the situation.

However, Home Minister Sahara Khatun claimed law and order is better than any time in the past and necessary measures are being taken to improve it further.

On border killing by Indian Border Security Force (BSF), the minister said Indian government has assured Bangladesh of stopping such killings.

Citing the recent cruel killing of Falani Khatun in Fulbari border area in Kurigram, a number of lawmakers of Jatiya Party, a component of AL-led ruling alliance, and BNP raised the issue in scripted and supplementary questions.

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, who was not present in parliament yesterday, in a scripted reply said Bangladesh has strongly protested against the killing and India has regretted for it.

“The Indian government has started investigation into the incident and would inform us about development,” the foreign minister said.

On behalf of the foreign minister, State Minister for Environment Hasan Mahmud replied lawmakers’ supplementary queries on the issue. He said Indian government has already taken action regarding investigation into Falani killing.

A number of BNP lawmakers, although they have been boycotting the House, raised a volley of questions for the home minister about her ministry’s measures to prevent “downslide” into law and order.

In their scripted questions, the opposition lawmakers said the law and order is deteriorating fast.

Two ruling AL lawmakers in their scripted queries also sought to know about the measures to improve law and order.

Even ruling AL lawmaker Mustaque Ahmed Ruhi of Netrokona-1 in a scripted question said four people in his constituency were missing. But no one is speaking anything about the incident out of fear, he said.

Mustaque sought to know what legal measure he can take or what the home ministry can do about the matter.

In response, the home minister said the lawmaker can take legal step on any specific issue and her ministry will help as much as possible.

On law and order, Sahara said the situation is under control. The law-enforcement agencies are carrying out special drives against criminals along with their routine work, she said.

She added her ministry has recommended increasing jail sentence for faulty drivers up to 10 years from five years in a bid to reduce road accidents.

The home minister said the government will update the list of godfathers involved in smuggling.

Source: The Daily Star – 08.02.2011