• Saturday, Nov 23, 2019
  • Last Update : 02:41 am

Yet another militant shot dead?

  • Published at 07:09 pm June 20th, 2016
  • Last updated at 07:09 pm June 20th, 2016
Yet another militant shot dead?

Not again.

The death of Golam Faizullah Fahim while he was in police custody was inexcusable.

And now, not 24 hours later, comes the news of the killing of Sharif, said to be a senior military and IT trainer of the Ansarullah Bangla Team, and prime suspect in the Avijit murder case.

Over the last 11 days alone, a total of six suspects have been shot to death. Six.

It would certainly appear that this is the latest law enforcement strategy to deal with the militant threat.

Bangladesh has a long and unfortunate history of resorting to extra-judicial killings as a means to combat terrorism, and we very much hope that this is not what is happening again today. In a democratic country that operates under the rule of law there can be no substitute or short-cut to bringing the accused to trial and having them face justice in a court of law.

Equally important, when suspected militants are shot dead in opaque circumstances, it dramatically diminishes the public trust and credibility of law enforcement, and indeed runs the risk of destroying public confidence in the rule of law, which is something that surely no one would like to see.

And perhaps most importantly, it is the responsibility of law enforcers to apprehend the accused and glean as much information as possible from them, with a view to tracking down the masterminds behind the attacks and bringing them to justice.

When suspected militants are shot dead in opaque circumstances, it dramatically diminishes the public trust and credibility of law enforcement

With each death, authorities lose information that could be vital to apprehending those behind the killings, preventing future killings, and dismantling the terror networks that have been wreaking such havoc.

It would perhaps be undertandable if such deaths in shoot-outs were occasional or isolated events. But 14 such deaths in two weeks suggests something far more sinister.

At best, it suggests that law enforcement is acting in an utterly reckless and unprofessional manner. At worst, it suggests that this is a new strategy that they are employing in their fight against terror.

If it is the former, then it shows that law enforcement is seriously ill-equipped and ill-prepared to address the terror threat that this country is facing.

If it is the latter, the implications are even more dire.

Either way, the killing of terror suspects in shoot-outs cannot continue.