It is time to hold these institutions accountable
Extra-judicial killings are not isolated incidents in Bangladesh.
They stem from a deep-rooted sense of impunity among our law enforcement personnel, a lack of accountability or due process, and an absence of transparency. As such, the recent killing of Retired Major Sinha is part of a larger pattern, a pattern which must be ended through a comprehensive reform of police as well as elite forces like RAB.
Major Sinha’s death at the hands of the police in Teknaf is receiving the attention it rightfully warrants. Unfortunately, when it comes to killings at the hands of law enforcement agencies, it has, more often than not, been swept under the rug.
It is extremely disheartening that as we develop as a nation, there remains an alarming need for police reform, something that continues to hold us back. The egregious culture of extra-judicial killings, or “crossfire” is what needs the most urgent attention.
Police and RAB have frequently operated without any regard for life, and have been given the license to operate as they see fit, resulting in the killings and disappearances of hundreds of people in the country. This fact was brought to light by a group of retired army officers who demanded withdrawn Teknaf police OC Pradeep’s trial for allegedly killing 140 people.
While it is indeed important to get to the truth regarding the Sinha killing, the broader problem at hand is stopping the culture of extra-judicial killings and forced disappearances. For that, what is required is a complete reform of our law enforcement agencies, from the police to RAB.
It is time to hold these institutions accountable, hold the personnel accountable, and warn them that they cannot simply do as they wish without any regard for human life. It is time to take a stand against extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances. Such practices have no place in a functioning democracy.