There is the old saying, justice delayed, justice denied. Even a layman, even a rickshaw puller, knows the state of the rule of law in this country. After brutal incidents of murder, the families of the victims do not want justice. They know they will never get it.

Similarly, the perpetrators know they would not have to face prosecution in course of time, contradicting the statement of home minister. They repeat such crimes one after another. It is not astonishing when five accused were acquitted of rape. On 11 November 2021, a tribunal in Dhaka acquitted five persons accused of raping two university students in the city’s Raintree Hotel four years ago.

Human rights activists also know that the trials of rapes, killings and abductions will never take place under the current administrative system, still they seek justice for nothing.

On 6 November 2021, which marks the deaths of three Santals, former advisor to the caretaker government Sultana Kamal said, "We will repeatedly seek justice of this killing."

According to a Prothom Alo report, she also said, "When a nation does not carry out justice for crimes committed in the country, the scandal touches the nation. The state must shoulder the responsibility."

At the same time, the state knows a group of rights activists will raise its voice for a short while and it will vanish like the morning dew. Everything will be back normal afterwards.

So questions may surface as to why the activists are doing this as this has become a mere ceremony. Not in Bangladesh but also in many countries justice does not come so easy.

On 25 May 2020, when white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd, a black man, there was a huge protest across USA.

If we recollect the brutal murder of BUET student Abrar Fahad, it drew huge protest across the country. People from all walks of life took to the street seeking justice. The trial is now in progress.

Although our politicians and ministers talk about justice, it in fact does not come naturally. So every criminal act requires huge protest and even though after protest everything becomes normal in course of time. In every single incident, not only human rights activists but also general people have to remain vigilant to ensure justice. We cry for the rule of law. It rarely comes naturally.

Rabiul Islam is a journalist at Prothom Alo. He can be reached at [email protected]

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