Sahara defends lawmen again
Home Minister Sahara Khatun has questioned whether human rights organisations are "siding with the criminals" killed in "encounters" with law enforcers.
She was speaking as the chief guest at the annual general meeting of Crime Reporters' Association of Bangladesh (CRAB) in the capital.
The remark came a day after the home minister claimed that no extra-judicial killings have happened during the present government's tenure. However, reports of human rights organisations sharply contradict the claim. The annual report of Odhikar, a Dhaka-based human rights watchdog, says at least 127 people fell victim to extra-judicial killings in 2010.
Meanwhile, National Human Rights Commission Chairman Prof Mizanur Rahman Khan at a seminar doubted the home minister's claim and said he will be assured if the judiciary says there is no extra-judicial killing in the country.
Sahara called upon the rights organisations to work independently and said they should stand by lawmen, who put their life on the line to fight criminals.
“Militants, terrorists, criminals and muggers are hiding all around us. Please help law enforcers arrest them,” Sahara said.
She also claimed that criminal activities are on the decline across the country.
Hassan Mahmood Khondker, inspector general of police (IGP), urged journalists not to hinder their “work by one-sided criticism".
“We plan to set up an institute of criminology,” the IGP said.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Benazir Ahmed said they would show zero tolerance to narcotics trade, a major crime in the country.
“We arrested 12 drug peddlers in the last two months. But at least 700 drug peddlers got released from prison taking advantage of the loopholes in the law,” he said.
The DMP commissioner said they got nearly 550 drug peddlers punished on the spot by mobile courts.
Mokhlesur Rahman, director general of Rapid Action Battalion, also spoke at the function presided over by CRAB President Akhteruzzaman Lavlu.