'A special court, comprising three members, can be formed in every district by appointing retired justices on contract basis'
Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) Director General Benazir Ahmed wants special courts for the trial of drug related cases, comprised of retired justices, in all 64 districts of the country.
The RAB chief was attending as special guest a workshop on the implementation of an action plan for combating drug smuggling at a hotel in the city on Sunday.
“A special court, comprising three members, can be formed in every district by appointing retired justices on contract basis,” he said during his speech.
Benazir said: “We only have 1,800 magistrates. So we need to form special courts with retired justices. If we go for new recruitment for the special courts, it will take too much time and will not bring fruitful results.”
Pointing out that there were 90,000 inmates in the country's prison system, whose capacity is 36,000 prisoners, the head of the elite force said: “Of the inmates, 44% are accused in drug related cases. So this is high time we create separate jails for the accused. The jail can be on an island on the Bay of Bengal or some other isolated place.”
Hailing the decision of testing for drugs prior to appointment to government jobs, Benazir said: “This is obviously good news. No country on earth is free from drug consumption. We are in all-out war against drugs and we will come home victorious.”
At the workshop, the Home Ministry's Security Service Division Secretary Farid Uddin Ahmed Chowdhury said: “An initial decision has been taken to introduce drug tests before appointment to government jobs. Besides, we are also considering drug tests in private jobs.”
“The action plan has been sent to the Prime Minister's Office. The PMO approved it and instructed us to disseminate the action plan among government officials,” he said.
The Department of Narcotics Control has been working well despite limited manpower, Farid Uddin said.
“It needs 6,700 more people. Hopefully we will increase their manpower to 8,500 soon.”
“Our stance against narcotics is clear. The prime minister's message is to conduct drives until drugs are eradicated from Bangladesh. We will continue our drives and raids. We are also working to control the demand for drugs.”
About the new drug act, the secretary said: “The old act was made in 1990. We have finalized a new draft act. In the new act, financiers and patrons of narcotics and many other things are being included. I hope the draft act will be raised in cabinet within two weeks.”
Department of Narcotics Control DG Jamal Uddin said: “The directorate has so far arrested 13,000 people in connection with drug dealing. About 12,000 cases have been lodged. We have many limitations. We are working with only 10 Ansar members in Teknaf, the place of yaba intrusion in the country.”