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Dhaka Tribune

‘Drug dealer names are being bought and sold in this war on drugs’

Allegations have been brought against the authorities that there is a trade going on with the list of targeted drug dealers. The public is viewing the alleged extrajudicial killings with much disapproval as the ongoing government-sponsored aggressive anti-narcotics drive has garnered much controversy, said the participants of the Bangla Tribune’s latest Boithoki held at its Dhaka offices on May 31. Moderated by journalist Munni Saha, the roundtable was telecast live on ATN News and Bangla Tribune’s Facebook page and website

Update : 02 Jun 2018, 12:43 AM

‘Drug lords do not sell drugs on the streets’

The Bangla Tribune’s Senior Reporter Nuruzzaman Labu said: “The drug lords do not sell drugs on the streets. The people being captured in these drives are mostly small-time drug  pushers or field-level businessmen.

“The police and Detective Branch (DB) of police are gathering intelligence from various sources and making a list of potential targets. They follow that list and go on the anti-narcotics drives.”

Nuruzzaman Labu also said many of the prominent drug dealers have gone into hiding since the drives started. The authorities are unable to detain them.

“There is a business going on involving names being added and cut from the list. Names of drug dealers are being bought and sold in this war on drugs.” 

‘There are many questions concerning the gunfights with the police’

Human rights activist Nur Khan said: “The anti-narcotics drives are a necessity. Drugs have spread across the country like wildfire.”

“Yet, many questions are arising regarding the legitimacy of the ‘gunfights’ with the police. The methods they are employing are indeed questionable.”

He said: “One Ronny was picked up by the police on Friday around 2pm, according to his family. Three days later, they find out that he has been killed in a ‘gunfight’. There are several other incidents such as this.”

“Previously, Bangladesh Bank Official, Rabbi, was framed in a drug related incident. Since there is a history of such occurrences, the public is naturally concerned.”

‘The government is being heavily criticized‘

Poet and journalist Masuda Bhatti said: “It is possible that a lot of people think these kinds of anti-narcotics drives will help the government gain popularity with the public. But drives such as these make it hard to establish law and order in society. The government is garnering more negative criticism than support from the public by authorizing this.

“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said these drives were planned. Sheikh Hasina visits many countries; when they question her about the extrajudicial killings, what will she say? As a nation, this is embarrassing for us.”

‘The government should look into the involvement of the law enforcers’

Online activist Baki Billah said: “The police are often affiliated directly or indirectly with drug peddlers. The government should look into the involvement of law enforcement with drug dealers.”

 “Criminals who are being executed are not the only ones responsible for the drug trade.”

‘The anti-narcotics drives should continue’

Jubo Mohila League General Secretary Apu Ukil said: “The lists of drug dealers that the police are following were not made keeping political affiliations in mind. Hence, there are no complications here regarding political favour. The anti-narcotics drives should continue.”

“The drug trade is an international business. The massive increase in the drug trade of Bangladesh is a result of international drug traders getting involved. Narcotics are spreading at a dangerous speed and strict action is necessary,” said the former lawmaker. 

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