'There is no proven method of controlling drugs or preventing crimes through gunfights in the entire world'
Expressing deep concern over the ongoing countrywide anti-drug drive, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), has demanded judicial investigation into the killings of over 100 alleged drug traders in anti-drug campaign “gunfights.”
In a press statementon Thursday, TIB also said the way the government is patronizing the exercise of excessive power, a culture of violating the law is becoming institutionalized.
Saying that every citizen has the right to justice, TIB Executive Director, Dr Iftekharuzzaman, questioned the legal acceptability of the government's interpretation of the drive.
The way “enlisted” people are being killed in “gunfights” before being proven guilty is unconstitutional, he said.
He said, "Though these incidents are being explained as countermeasures for self defense,there are no legal processes to ascertain their authenticity."
The victims of these“gunfights” are involved in drug dealing at the field level, and could provide important information for a permanent solution to drugs, he said, adding that with such prejudice being practiced, the possibility of learning the truth is being destroyed while the main culprits of the drug trade in Dhaka stay out of the dragnet.
Dr Iftekharuzzaman said the situation can be improved by identifying the main culprits behind the drug trade, by following existing laws and ensuring exemplary punishment, and in order to execute this, proper application of the law by its enforcers is important.
“There is no proven method of controlling drugs or preventing crimes through gunfights in the entire world,” he added.
The way violations of the law are being informally validated by law enforcement agencies is downright alarming for the country's justice, governance, and democracy, he concluded.