Killings in anti-drug drives ‘unacceptable in democracy’, 10 eminent citizens say

A group of 10 eminent citizens has urged the government to launch judicial investigation into killings in anti-drug operations, calling these ‘unacceptable in a democracy’.

Published : 2 June 2018, 05:34 PM
Updated : 2 June 2018, 06:13 PM

The top academicians, poets, writers and cultural activists said in a statement on Saturday that they understand the reasonability of the ongoing crackdown on drugs across the country as there only a few families are not affected by the menace.

“So spontaneous public support for the campaign was expected. But we are deeply concerned that a number of people are becoming victims of extra-judicial killings everyday that are being described as gunfight,” they said.       

“Such deaths in a democratic society and state can never be accepted. The constitutional right to live cannot be snatched away,” they added.

The statement mentioned the killing of Teknaf Councillor Akramul Haque in a RAB drive.

It said the audio released by his family and purportedly of the moments of Akramul’s ‘execution-style killing’ is ‘unimaginable in democracy’.

“Only one such incident is enough to make the entire crackdown controversial and terrify the people.

“We urge the government to free the people from fear as soon as possible by launching judicial investigations into the extrajudicial killings and publishing correct information,” the statement reads.

The signatories of the statement are: Prof Anisuzzaman, writer Hasan Azizul Huq, poet Nirmalendu Goon, writer-publisher Mofidul Hoque, drama personalities Ramendu Majumdar, Ataur Rahman, Mamunur Rashid, Nasiruddin Yousuff and Sammilita Sangskritik Jote President Golam Quddus and General Secretary Hasan Arif.

Earlier in the day, ruling Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader said they were investigating the killing of Akramul, a former leader of the party’s youth front Juba League.

He, however, added that ‘some mistakes’ are possible during such an operation and even if the killing of Akramul was a ‘mistake’ of the law enforcers, it would not call the entire campaign into question.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher