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Justice for Holey Artisan

  • Published at 12:04 am November 28th, 2019
web-holey artisan
Photo: MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU/DHAKA TRIBUNE

A harrowing chapter in our country’s recent history comes to a close

The long-awaited verdict is out: Seven individuals involved in the attack on Holey Artisan Bakery three years ago have been sentenced to death. 

Details from that fateful day are still fresh in our minds: On the night of July 1, 2016, men with arms stormed the eatery -- a 12-hour standoff followed, with gunmen holding several diners hostage. In the end, the attack left 23 people dead.

When justice is finally delivered for a case where the particulars are so grisly, so horrifying, and so tragic, there is little cause to celebrate. Nevertheless, perhaps the families of the victims -- and the nation as a whole -- can find some closure in the fact that the perpetrators have not gotten away. 

In a case like Holey, three factors are of paramount importance for the restoration of law and order, and faith in the system. First, the perpetrators must be apprehended. In this regard, our law enforcement agencies have done an exemplary job -- no stone was left unturned in catching the responsible parties, and a number of successful raids were carried out which eradicated some of the militants.

Secondly, it is good that the perpetrators were brought to trial: No matter how heinous the crime, it is of utmost importance that due process is maintained. Furthermore, there should be transparency in the proceedings, to ensure that no innocent person is getting caught up in a web created by the militants.

Finally, the process should move quickly. Often, we have seen the wheels of justice move with excruciating slowness, causing great suffering and anxiety to the loved ones of the deceased. Thankfully, in the case of Holey, the process moved as fast as it could have.

With Wednesday’s verdict, a harrowing chapter in our country’s recent history comes to a close. On this day, we once again remember the deceased, and say “never again” to this kind of tragedy in our land. May the victims of that fateful day rest in eternal peace.