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Dhaka Tribune

Under rug swept

Due process should never be swept under the rug

Update : 03 Jun 2023, 04:04 AM

To say that the death of Sultana Jasmine while in the custody of RAB deserves a thorough investigation, would be an obvious enough statement. But given that deaths in custody is still a rampant enough issue in our country, the abhorrent nature of the phenomenon bears emphasis every and any time it occurs.

However, that a probe committee has been assembled to properly investigate Jasmine's death is indeed a good sign. Which is why it is all the more important for the authorities concerned to ensure that the committee is able to carry out its investigations without fear of pressure from forces, external or internal.

It is nothing short of a shame that personnel within law enforcement found guilty of criminal action are usually let off with a slap on the wrist at best, such as temporary suspensions or demotions. Such measures do absolutely nothing to find out what happened in each individual case of custodial death or to address the root cause of the problem.

One of the key reasons behind the lack of any action to curb custodial deaths is, of course, impunity. It was only three years ago that we witnessed the death of Abu Bakar Siddique Babu under police custody as bruises and injury marks all over his body all indicated to him being savagely tortured by the police beforehand. All of which had occurred well before he was even put on trial for his alleged crime.

Which is why it is all the more important that investigations in these circumstances be impartial and free of any foul-play. Jasmine's death in RAB custody is yet another startling reminder that those we entrust to serve and protect us are often capable of heinous crimes themselves.

We hope that the investigation is carried out diligently and those responsible for their negligence are subject to the punishment they deserve. Due process should never be swept under the rug.

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