The Rule of Law: RAB’s Killing in Bangladesh
IN a recent shootout with Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) cost six lives on 3rd of April in Narshindi upazilla, an outs crust of capital Dhaka city in Bangladesh- a BDNews24.com on 3rd of April 2012. The six accused were killed by RAB in daylight at 2:30 PM on 3rd Apr. The deceased were identified by police and they were aged between 18 and 35 years. Two of the deceased were 18 years old student had sit for SSC exam this year and rest are truck and micro bus driver, and bill board maker and so on. Four accused were injured and two RAB personnel were injured too as news revealed. The RAB filed a case against the deceased and injured that they had robbed forty thousand taka [approximately AUD500] from a mobile phone businessman and they were planning for a further robbery.
RAB pursued them on a phone call complaint from a mobile phone businessman Maruf Hossain who is now out of contact and police failed to trace him out. RAB filed a case against the deceased and injured for planning to commit a robbery. However, the families and relatives of the deceased and injured have different story, they claimed that the killing was premeditated and planned and the accused were not muggers at all. The OC of Narshingdhi Police Station confirmed their identities as well as their occupations. One of the deceased was a son of a freedom fighter and his grieving mother claimed that her son was not a mugger and she is seeking justice to the authorities.
I am here neither defending the deceased nor the action of RAB. I am here because I am deeply disturbed and dismayed with the news that six young lives were lost in a day-light for AUD$500 without any proves of robbery. This is not expected from an elite force comprised with army & police. The extra judicial killing is not new in Bangladesh; if not thousands, hundreds of lives were taken by the RAB’s infamous cross fire. This is not expected from a democratically elected government. We say a lot about Rule of law and democracy in Bangladesh. The concept of rule of law is the back bone of any democratic society but what has been happening in Bangladesh is not even close to that. The Rule of Law that we all should stand for is;
- No one is punishable by the State unless they committed a breach of the law and this breach is established before an ordinary Court.
- All citizens irrespective of status are subject to the law as administered by Law Courts, including every official, from the Prime Minister down to a police constable.
- Personal liberties and freedoms are ensured and protected by the State.