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Ten people being killed each day in Bangladesh

  • Published at 10:43 pm April 27th, 2016
  • Last updated at 10:44 pm April 27th, 2016

The number of murders, especially targeted killings, has reached an alarming height in the first few months of 2016. From the start of the year and up to April 25, a total 1,215 people have been killed across Bangladesh, according to the Police Headquarters database. That equals to an average of over 10 murders each day in the country. Although 11 people were killed on an average every day in 2015, with a total 4,015 murders throughout the year, political violence accounted for many of those fatalities. So far this year, only 32 deaths were results of political violence surrounding union parishad polls. Despite the high murder rate, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said he was happy with the present law and order situation. Pointing out that murders are committed each day in countries all over the world, Kamal said the law and order situation in Bangladesh was better than others. “We have arrested assailants in most cases and the remaining cases would be solved soon with the arrest of the perpetrators,” the minister added. The minister's comment came after things took a turn for the worse this April, with at least five people falling victim to targeted assassinations – all hacked to death. On April 6, Jagannath University student Nazimuddin Samad was hacked to death. Then there was a brief gap before a similar killing took place again on April 22, when Hindu priest Paramananda Roy was killed in Gopalganj. Then in quick succession, Rajshahi University Professor Rezaul Karim was killed on April 23, while LGBT magazine editor Xulhaz Mannan along with his friend Mahbub Tonoy were killed on April 25 in Dhaka's Kalabagan. Three suspects have been arrested in connection with the murders of Paramananda and Rezaul; but there has not been any significant progress in any of the cases. In the wake of these murders, the country's police chief however refused to take any responsibility. Instead, Inspector General of Police AKM Shahidul Hoque said it was not possible for the police to ensure security by going to the doors of each and every one. People needed to arrange for their own security, while the police can provide help to them, the IGP said. “One of our main tasks is to ensure punishment for the criminals responsible through proper investigation and we are doing it very seriously with our expert officials,” Shahidul said. Security specialists, however, criticised the law enforcers' failure in preventing murders. Ashraful Alam, associate professor of criminology and police science at Maulana Bhashani Science and Technology University, said police must take some responsibility for these killings. Law enforcers need to be one step ahead of the well trained killers, Ashraful said, adding that such killings would continue unless the responsible ones are punished. Security Analyst Brig Gen (retd) M Sakhawat Hossain criticised how law enforcers were terming murders as targeted killings or putting the blame on militant groups even before starting an investigation. As a result of these presumptions, the real incidents often do not come to light and encourage the perpetrators to commit more crimes, he added.