We have been here before.
A shanty settlement gets burned to the ground, law enforcers launch an investigation, the sufferers receive a pittance as compensation, but justice is never truly served.
At exactly 3:30am Monday, a fire gutted at least 8,000 shanties in a Mirpur slum, with at least four individuals, including women and children, incurring grave injuries from the flames.
Last year, we witnessed a number of similar slum fires, almost all of which contain accounts of dwellers spotting mysterious figures on bikes moments before the fires began raging. Many of them allege that the practice of torching slums is part of a plan to drive them out of the area.
If there is even a shred of credibility to these allegations, our law enforcement should be mobilizing immediately.
While an investigation has been launched into the Mirpur fire, it is disheartening that such investigations yield very little in the way of justice, let alone identifying any and all culprits involved. Given the severity of such incidents, where human lives are potentially willingly endangered, complacency and callousness in investigating them is unacceptable.
By failing to provide justice for those already at the margins of our society, the government risks setting a dangerous precedent, where devastating acts of arson become the norm.
We cannot allow such incidents to happen again, and the only way that we can ensure such is through a thorough and comprehensive investigation into the matter.
Countless slum dwellers have lost all their valuable possessions in the latest fire -- they deserve justice.