Ten noted citizens on Saturday voiced serious concern over the recent spate of extrajudicial killings in the name of anti-narcotic drives and urged the government to stop it.
In a joint statement, they said, "We are observing with deep concern that many people are becoming subjects to extrajudicial killings every day that are being termed as 'gunfight' killings.
"Such killings are in no way acceptable in a democratic state and social system," the statement said.
General Secretary of Sammilita Sangskritik Jote, Hasan Arif, issued the statement, which was signed by eminent educationists and cultural personalities.
The signatories to the statement are Prof Emeritus Anisuzzaman, Hasan Azizul Haque, Ramendu Majumder, Ataur Rahman, Mamunur Rashid, Nirmalendu Gun, Nasiruddin Yousuff, Mofidul Hoque, Golam Quddus and Hasan Arif.
The justification of the ongoing anti-narcotic drive can be realized, said the statement, as few families can save themselves from the deadliness of drugs.
However, mentioning the recent reports in different media outlets about people being killed in the drive, the renowned citizens said: "People's right to live as enshrined in the constitution cannot be snatched in such a way."
The statement also mentioned there had been no past allegations against Teknaf Municipality Councillor Ekramul Haque, who recently died in the hand of law enforcers during a drive. The Teknaf mayor protested against the killing.
Referring to the four audio clips containing recorded conversations between Ekram and his daughter and wife before and when he was shot dead by law enforcers, the noted personalities decried such an act in a democratic country.
"Such an incident is enough to make the entire drive questionable and terrify people," the citizens said.
Under the circumstances, they urged the government to be transparent towards the citizens by publishing proper information after carrying out a judicial probe into the extrajudicial killings.