Put public concerns at rest | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 23, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:51 PM, April 23, 2018

Editorial

Put public concerns at rest

Mere denial of enforced disappearance won't wash

On average, 16 people have become victims of enforced disappearance between 2012 and 2017, which amounts to more than one every month. It is regrettable too that in the four or five years that the afflicted families have been making their annual plea to the government through a press conference, to trace the victims out, their number has risen gradually. Only a few of them have been found—not alive but dead, and the others remain untraceable.

While the government has denied involvement of the law enforcement agencies in the disappearances, the descriptions of the victims' families point the finger at the agencies. Most of the witnesses speak of their relatives being picked up by people in uniform, and sometimes by plainclothes men. In one case, reportedly, a victim was picked up and taken to a police station. Later, ransom money was demanded from his family. But he was never returned and the police later denied having picked him up at all.

But the government should do more than just issue denials. After all, 80 persons have remained untraceable for so long, and mere refutation cannot be the end of the matter. Doesn't the government have a responsibility towards the people, and concern for the anguish of the families of the victims? Is it not for the authorities to remove the blemish on the law enforcing agencies, if the allegations are false, by finding out the actual culprits and bringing them to justice? That is the only way to put public apprehensions at rest, the rule of law on track and  mitigate the pain of the aggrieved families.

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