Monday, December 14, 2009


HC to get 1,057 'crossfire' records: 2 rights bodies ready for submission at hearing today.

By Bangladesh Media; Over 1,000 people have been killed in law enforcers' custody in the names of "crossfire", "encounter" or "gunfight" in violation of human rights since formation of Rapid Action Battalion in 2004, the country's two leading human rights organisations said yesterday.

Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST) and Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) will present the data before the High Court that will hold hearing today on the suo-moto ruling on extra-judicial killings in custody.
The two organizations as parties in this case will fight a legal battle at the HC to put a stop to extra-judicial killings, which the government denies vehemently.

They will produce documents and arguments before the court seeking its decisions and guidelines for stopping extra judicial killings and trial of the people responsible.

Barrister Saifur Rashid, counsel for ASK, told The Daily Star yesterday that the organisation had found that 1,057 people fell victim to extra-judicial killings since formation of Rab.

He said the organisation has conducted inquiries into 20 incidents of extra-judicial killings including those of two brothers -- Lutfor Rahman Khalasi and Khairul Haque Khalasi -- in Madaripur.

"It has been found that all the incidents were almost the same. In most cases, the people were arrested by law enforcers and killed in custody before producing them at the court," he said.

Advocate Ruhul Quddus, lawyer for BLAST, said over 1,000 people were killed in custody without any trial indicating that the state has taken the law in its hand.

"Our culture will be harmed and anarchy will prevail in future unless violation of law in such a way is stopped immediately," he said. The lawyer said BLAST would assist the HC in making a decision to stop extra-judicial killings in the country.

The HC bench of justices AFM Abdur Rahman and Emdadul Haque Azad on November 17 issued a ruling directing the government to show why appropriate actions should not be taken against Rab officials --Maj Wahiduzzaman, Lt Hasan and other Rab personnel -- for the killings of the two brothers in Madaripur.

Home Minister Sahara Khatun the same day claimed before the media that no extra-judicial killings are taking place in the country.

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