FAR from diminishing, incidents of extra-judicial killings have, of late, rather been registering an increasing trend. According to a local human rights watchdog, Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), until February 10, some 44 persons have been the victims of extrajudicial murder and enforced disappearance. What is most repugnant is that the majority of those killed or made to disappear by force were members of the opposition political parties.
There is reason to be highly concerned over the report, since it involves murder of citizens, whatever their political identity, by lawmen under cloak and dagger circumstances. In this column, we have been consistently expressing our outrage against all kinds of human rights violation including, especially, extra-judicial killings at the hands of lawmen. Despite the widespread coverage and criticisms of these incidents in the media and by human rights watchdogs, both local and international, precious little has been done by the government to put a stop to such killings and instances of enforced disappearance. Worse still, the government has rather been receiving these reports with its characteristic denial mode.
Ironically though, the AL government had in 2009 committed in its manifesto to bring an end to custodial deaths and the so-called cross-fires.
The government's failure to attend to these incidents with due seriousness has been read by the general public as its sheer insensitivity to the issue of security and safety in the lives of citizens it is supposed to protect. This state of affairs is not only unacceptable to the common public, but also puts the national image to disrepute globally. Unless effective steps are taken to curb such abominable abuse of power, we will be castigated as a country with the least respect for the rule of law and sensitivity towards the sanctity of human life.