Mentioning that Awami League does not believe in extrajudicial killings, the party’s General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Thursday said deaths of drug traders in gunfights with law enforcers cannot be called extrajudicial killings.
“Gunfights occur when drug dealers, facing arrest, open fire at law enforcers. Deaths from such encounters cannot be called extrajudicial killings," he told reporters after attending a program at Dhaka’s Manik Mia Avenue to create awareness about traffic rules.
He dismissed BNP's claim that the government was spreading panic through the gunfights ahead of the national election.
Obaidul, also the road transport and bridges minister, asked why BNP was speaking against the anti-narcotics drive launched at the directives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina when the country's people were hailing the initiative.
"They are doing so as their men are involved in the drug business."
About the ruling party’s Cox’s Bazar MP Abdur Rahman Bodi, the minister said not only Bodi, but also all listed drug peddlers would be brought to book, no matter how powerful they are.
"An MP cannot be arrested right away. We have to prove the allegations against him."
As of Thursday, more than 50 people have been killed in reported gunfights between alleged drug dealers and law enforcement agencies after the latter launched an aggressive campaign against narcotics trade across Bangladesh.