Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan defended the security forces on Saturday at a dialogue organised by the BBC Bengali Service in Dhaka.
His comments came in response to BNP Vice Chairman Hafizuddin Ahmed’s question: “Isn’t the basic right of a man to live is denied by the crossfire?”
The minister replied: “Of course, every human being has the right to live. But, I think a bit of crossfire is needed to uproot terrorism from the country.”
Human rights organisations, both local and international, have been for long saying that extra-judicial killings are taking place in the guise of so called ‘crossfire’ and ‘gunfight’ in Bangladesh.
“The people of the country have accepted crossfire. Crossfire do take place in other countries too, which is legal”, said Khan.
In the discussion, BNP leader Ahmed alleged that ‘political motives’ were behind the recent extra-judicial killings. “Most of the suspects in the case over the attack on the motorcade of (minister) Asaduzzaman Noor have later died in crossfire,” he added.
Ahmed said that now there’s no ‘control’ over RAB. “When we were in government the RAB was in control. Now we often see fake RAB members.”
RAB, an elite force under the police, was founded in 2004 during the BNP-Jamaat alliance government.