Monday, April 18, 2011

Rights bodies worried over abductions, extra-judicial killings

SALEEM SAMAD

Bangladesh rights groups are worried over scores of abductions by plainclothes security agents and extra-judicial killings.

Rights groups have documented the whereabouts of 22 people were alleged, picked up by anti-crime squads last year and are still unknown, according to a study by Ain-O-Salish Kendra (ASK).

The high court on July 19, 2010 directed the chief of police to investigate the case of missing Chowdhury Alam, a city councilor, who is one among those who have been abducted. He was abducted from the capital Dhaka.

The police chief has repeatedly denied of politician’s abduction and detaining him an in unknown place. However, police did not take any effort to find the person who is missing since June 19 last year. His family is worried about his safety and security of the family members too.

Sultana Kamal, a social justice activist and chairman of the rights group ASK, said on Monday, "Such allegations against law enforcers is worrying," she told English language The Independent.

Recently Mufti Fazlul Haque Amini, a leader of Islamic clerics at a press conference charged the government for abducting his youngest son Abul Hasanat who is missing since April 10. Police is yet to trace the person, not took effort to find him.

The Islamist in anger threatened the government to paralyze the country, if his son does not return home soon.

Two years ago the elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion allegedly picked up expelled Jubo League, youth organization leader Liakat Hossain, who was listed as most wanted criminal, from Dhanmondi residential area. His family is yet to hear the fate of Hossain. The authorities have not heeded to repeated appeal of his wife.

Adilur Rahman Khan, General Secretary of rights watchdog Odhikar "If such a situation prevails, the scenario of human rights in the country could worsen." [ENDS]

Saleem Samad, an Ashoka Fellow is an award winning investigative journalist based in Bangladesh. He specializes in Jihad, forced migration, good governance and politics. He has recently returned from exile after living in Canada for six years. He could be reached at saleemsamad@hotmail.com

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