Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) today expressed concern over the death of more than a hundred people in "gunfights" in the ongoing nationwide anti-narcotics drives.
TIB, in a press release, questioned the law enforcement agencies' explanation on the death of alleged drug peddlers in "gunfights".
The international graft watchdog's Bangladesh chapter also demanded a judicial probe into such incidents, reads the release."The Constitution has given every citizen the right to get justice. The question remains on the legality of the way anti-narcotics drives are being conducted across the country based on so-called intelligence," TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said.
"Also, the way 'listed' criminals are being killed in 'gunfights' instead of being convicted for their crimes through proper trials is unconstitutional," he said.
Referring to the law enforcers' claim that the 'gunfights' ensue as they retaliate upon being attacked by the criminals, the TIB executive director said no legal procedure is known to determine the authenticity of such claim.
"Mostly low-profile field-level drug peddlers and users are becoming victims of 'gunfight', who could have instead provided valuable information to solve the drug menace," Dr Iftekharuzzaman said, adding that this prevents the true scenario from being revealed and the high-profile names associated with the illegal drug trade from being identified.
Stressing on the fact that nowhere in the world 'gunfight' ever played an effective role in controlling narcotics trade or any other criminal activity, the body urged the government and law enforcement agencies to follow the legal procedure to identify the real culprits who control the illegal drug trade in the country and bring them under the country's existing legal system.
Violation of law in the name of 'gunfight' being given institutional acceptance is a grave sign for the country's justice, law and order, and democracy, the TIB release added.