Three years after Ramu
It is disheartening that three years after the horrific attacks on Buddhist homes and places of worship in Ramu, Cox's Bazar, little progress has been made in terms of meting out justice to the perpetrators. The attack left 12 pagodas and 50 houses completely destroyed. The government has promptly restored the destroyed pagodas, which is commendable but that alone cannot restore the confidence of the Buddhist community of the locality.
Despite three probes ordered by the HC following two public interest writ petitions filed by two Supreme Court lawyers, no headway has been made due to technicalities. Meanwhile the reluctance of witnesses to appear in court has prevented the lower courts of Cox's Bazar to start trial proceedings in the cases filed after the vicious attacks.
We acknowledge that bottlenecks in the legal system accounts for the general delay in cases to be disposed of. But the Ramu tragedy is a special case that needs special attention from the authorities as it is related to the security concerns of a minority community and also because it has denigrated our image to the rest of the world.
The three probes have found officials in the local administration, intelligence and law enforcement agencies to be responsible for their failure to prevent the mayhem. No action has yet been taken against them. Law enforcers had arrested 483 people in connection with the incident but almost all of them are out on bail.
We urge the government to step in to make sure that the witnesses are not intimidated into refusing to testify and all those who were responsible, for the atrocious attacks, are brought to book. This is the least that the government can do to ensure the rights of the minorities.