Police role in question
The law enforcement agencies are capturing suspected Islamist militants and foiling their alleged missions to kill high-profile personalities and carry out subversive acts. The intelligence of the police, especially that of the Detective Branch and the Rapid Action Battalion, is so accurate that the suspects are arrested well before they could make their move.
By interrogating the arrestees, police in the past got clues about the others involved in plotting the missions, leading to the capture of all gang members. This way the DB and Rab nabbed several hundred militant operatives in the past few years. The cops have also been successful in getting names of the outfits the arrestees belong to.
This success gave them the confidence to say that operatives of the militant groups in Bangladesh are under total control.
This is surely laudable. But the same agencies fail to show the competence when it comes to preventing the murder of bloggers one after another and arresting the culprits.
Four bloggers have been killed in the first seven months of this year, but police have not been able to arrest any single killer. They also could not dig any information from the two murderers caught by the public while trying to flee after killing Oyasiqur Rahman Babu in Tejgaon on March 30, a little over a month after the murder of writer-blogger Avijit Roy. There are numerous examples where one arrest led to the arrest of others and eventually cracked the case. But not in the case of Babu.
The law enforcers could have used the same interrogation
techniques they applied to the suspected militants to track down the other gang members involved in the killing. But no one was arrested, and in the meantime two more bloggers lost their lives.
So far, police could not produce any credible and visible progress in blogger murders investigation. A month ago, they claimed that Ansarullah Bangla Team men were behind the killing of Avijit and that they identified seven of them. A day after Niladri Chattopadhyay Niloy's killing, a DB official claimed to have made adequate progress in blogger killing probe but he did not elaborate on his claim. The investigators' excuse is that nothing can be disclosed before the investigation is completed.
Now the question is how long the police would take to complete the investigation. And how many more lives would be lost until it is done?
Police said militant outfits were behind all the killings but could not give concrete proof.
As reasons for their not being able to arrest the blogger murderers and bust their gangs, detectives say the culprits operate as sleeper cells where one cell is isolated from the others and the people involved use pseudo names and fake addresses.
Our intelligence and law enforcement agencies have been able to solve many crimes by arresting the perpetrators. They also gained quick success in arresting six murderers of blogger Rajib Haider in February 2013. In three weeks, they arrested six North South University students and had their jailed top leader Jasimuddin Rahmania as an accused in the case. Following up the information obtained from them, police arrested another NSU student in August that year and eventually all were indicted.
The sleeper-cell theory did not work here. If the same militant outfit is involved in the killing of Avijit, it is expected that police would be able to find clue from the previous killers. But this hasn't happened.
Two things can happen in the case of blogger murder investigation. Either police are not serious or willing to do it for lack of political will of the government or they are simply not capable.
We need to wait to see which one is true.