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Dhaka Tribune

Extrajudicial killings: People involved must be held accountable, says NHRC chief

In Bangladesh, at least 67 people were killed in gunfights between January and November this year
Update : 01 Jan 2022, 12:31 PM

People involved in extrajudicial killings must be brought to book and held accountable, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chairman Nasima Begum said on Thursday.

Expressing her concern, she said the commission did not support such killings and the country’s constitution was also against this.

“Every person has the right to seek and get justice,” she added while addressing a virtual discussion between NHRC and Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) in the morning — during which ASK also released human rights statistics of the first 11 months of 2021.

The NHRC chief’s remarks came nearly two weeks after the US government slapped seven former and current senior officials of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) with sanctions over allegations of human rights abuses.

In Bangladesh, at least 67 people were killed in gunfights between January and November this year. Among them, 12 died in November alone.

During the same period, 78 people were killed in jail custody, and another 14 were killed by Indian border troops at the Indo-Bangla border, according to ASK data based on media reports.

‘Police liable for Comilla communal incident’

Regarding the communal violence in Comilla during Durga Puja, Nasima Begum said it was the officer-in-charge (OC) of the local police station in Comilla who was to blame for the incident.

“The houses were attacked one after another over the alleged desecration of the Quran. We think if the OC had not allowed people to take videos of the incident, then the situation would not have worsened across Bangladesh,” she said.

“It was an example of extreme failure and incapability,” added the NHRC chief.

The commission had recommended that the government take departmental action against such officials so that no one had to pay a price because of their mistakes, she said.

An angry mob had vandalized a Hindu temple in Comilla as tension mounted after a video of the Quran kept on the lap of an idol at a Durga Puja venue went viral in October. The communal violence then spread to different districts across Bangladesh.

Attacks on religious minorities in Bangladesh in the first 11 months have left a brutal mark on them, as per a recent report.

According to ASK, between January and November, 184 attacks on religious minorities had left some 301 people injured in different districts.

In addition, at least 203 incidents of vandalism on temples, idols and places of worship were also reported during the same period.

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