Apurba Ahmed Jewel: After reading Sunday’s newspaper, I find myself even more concerned. The Chairman of the Human Rights Commission has stated that in some incidents of disappearance and killings, there is evidence of the involvement of law enforcement agencies. I appreciate his courageous statement, but what he said is also alarming. The concern deepens when we find evidence of the involvement of a military member with the incident of disappearance mentioned in Mizanur Rahman Khan’s article, along with the event related to the force Rapid Action Battalion
In Bangladesh, Rab has been implicated in many extrajudicial killings. Although such incidents are often fabricated, Rab has a certain impunity. The discovery of a body, according to its autopsy, provides a possibility of a fair trial, justice, and a chance for the future. None of these possibilities exist in cases of disappearances; not even the opportunity to pray for the ‘dead’ person. This demonic crime is identified as the most heinous crime by both law and morality—judged in both courts. History tells us that in countries where the government is more fascist, there are more incidents of disappearances. Such incidents frequently occur in countries like Cambodia, Vietnam, Colombia, Nicaragua, Zimbabwe, and others. The recent disappearance of Ilyas raises the question again: are we heading in the same direction? Or have we ended up in a state where the biggest enemy of the people’s safety is the state itself!
Let me keep the extensive description of the past aside. Some recent events have left us in extreme distress. After the Sagar-Runi murder case, the responsibility for investigation and supervision was taken by the Prime Minister himself — as stated by the Home Minister. Two days after the police IG’s murder case, it was claimed that progress had been made in the investigation, but even after the Prime Minister took the responsibility for supervision, the police investigation’s outcome was declared as ‘zero’ in the language of the High Court! Why does Rab have to be given the responsibility for such investigations, especially when there are allegations against the institution for committing or orchestrating ‘disappearances’? In the history of this country, there was no precedent for the murder of a foreign diplomat. Just a few days after the Sagar-Runi murder case, the safest place in the capital witnessed the murder of a Saudi diplomat. Why is there no progress in investigating such a heinous crime even after nearly two months? Why couldn’t the police arrest anyone in connection with these two terrifying incidents? Despite the media’s numerous questions, where did the investigation of the corruption allegations against Suranjit, the driver of the car involved in the incident, disappear to?
Lastly, how can the leader of the opposition party be attacked from the most protected road in the capital? This incident has prompted even the leaders of the BNP and even the Awami League to issue warnings of caution, as reported in Prothom Alo. Big politicians have their security, companions, and news networks. They may be able to remain vigilant. But what about ordinary people like us? The Prime Minister has said that he cannot ensure security even in the bathroom. Again, we are witnessing that someone can be abducted from the Rajpath. Law and order seem to be failing somewhere, and someone must be accountable for it!
In this situation, especially for those who hold different views with the government, it is a terrifying right to protest. This situation is not democracy; rather, it is an ominous indication of fascist tendencies in democracy.
Editor and Writer: Apurba Ahmed Jewel