The names of several ruling party lawmakers are arising in connection with the high profile murders like those in the Kurmitola Bihari camp, Feni and Narayanganj, yet none of them are being arrested, eminent jurist Shahdeen Malik observed at a discussion yesterday.
He made the comments in reference to the death of nine Biharis in an arson attack allegedly led by Awami League lawmaker Elias Uddin Mollah's men on Saturday, the alleged links between Narayanganj AL leader Shamim Osman and the killing of seven people, and the alleged involvement of Feni AL lawmakers Joynal and Nizam Hazari in killing a chairman.
The “Open discussion on Kalshi carnage and the lack of security of the stranded Pakistanis residing in the camp” was organised jointly by Manusher Jonno Foundation and Refugee and Migratory Movement Research Unit (RMMRU) at Dhaka Reporters Unity.
Media reports widely publicised the alleged links between the lawmakers and these sensational murders, speakers said. All the MPs, however, denied their involvement in the killings.
Nine Biharis were burnt alive, and one died in police firing in the capital's Mirpur on Saturday. In late April, Narayanganj city panel mayor Nazrul Islam and six other people were killed after abduction. On May 20, Phulgazi upazila chairman Ekramul Haq in Feni was shot inside his car before being burnt to death.
“Those who caused these crimes are not regular petty criminals. Therefore they must be made accountable,” stated Mahmudur Rahman Manna, convener of Nagorik Oikya.
“Why are Hazari, Mollah and Osman not being arrested?” remarked Asif Nazrul, law professor at Dhaka University.
Speakers alleged that the criminals were not being brought to book because the government was backing them. They also described the role of law enforcers as being against public interest.
Talking about the alleged attack on the Bihari camp by police, Asif Nazrul said, “If police are going against the citizens, where do we go?”
In reference to the Narayanganj murders where three Rapid Action Battalion men were allegedly involved, Manna added, “We have not previously seen such animalistic behaviour by the Rab.”
Meanwhile, Sultana, the wife of Azad, who died in the cop shooting at the Kurmitola camp, broke down in tears appearing at the discussion. “I can't support my two children by doing embroidery and stone embellishment work. I have already taken my 9-year-old son out of his extra tuition classes because I will not be able to pay for it,” she told The Daily Star.
Meanwhile, Biharis led on an uninterrupted protest movement in front of their camp in Kalshi, Mirpur yesterday, demanding the arrest of local lawmaker Elias and the release of the seven Biharis arrested for their alleged involvement in the arson attack that killed the nine.
'PUNISH KILLERS OF BIHARIS'
An anti-fascism and anti-imperialism platform yesterday demanded the immediate punishment for the perpetrators of Saturday's Bihari camp violence.
Representatives of the Anti-fascism and Anti-imperialism National Committee visited the Kurmitola camp yesterday and talked to the victims, said a press release, adding that none from the government administration and any international agency visited the camp yet.