Khulna Four Killings

Ruling party, police cannot escape blame

The way four people were killed in Khulna district's Fultoli upazila on Thursday makes us wonder if there is any rule of law prevailing in the country.

A report published in Prothom Alo says Awami League leader Sheikh Zakaria and his two brothers have established a reign of terror in the area. Locals allege that these three are involved in all sorts of criminal activites, from extortion to land grabbing. They also lend people money on high interest, but make them sign blank papers and then claim rights to their properties.

On Thursday, Zakaria handed an innocent man to the police, but claimed that he had illegal arms in his possession. When the locals went to the police to release the man who they thought was falsely implicated, the three brothers opened fire on the public, killing three people and injuring seven others. The angry mob then beat a youth to death and vandalized the three brothers' houses and offices before setting fire to a car.

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The three brothers have gone into hiding since the incident, but now police have been deployed to avert further untoward incidents. Top police officers in the area have also admitted that the three brothers had been carrying out all sorts of criminal activities for long. But why did not they take any steps against them we wonder.

This is clear that Sheikh Zakaria could continue his criminal activities thanks to his political identity. If he was brought to book earlier, these four people would still have been alive today. And truth be told, this is no separate incident. All over the country, people affiliated with the ruling party are flexing their muscles to have their ways. The other day a Jubo League man was killed after taking him out of the mosque and sources say a local councillor and Awami League leader was behind the killing.

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Sheikh Zakaria is the publicity secretary of Khanjahan Ali thana Awami League. Like any other incident, he has been expelled from the party. The general secretary of the committee has also confirmed that the locals had some issues with the brothers over pieces of lands. The youngest of the three, Zafrin Sheikh, was the vice-president of metropolitan Chhatra League. He was accused in a murder case and he was also expelled from the committee earlier.

The ruling party has to take the responsibility of such killings by people affiliated with them. And police have to answer why they did not take any steps against the criminals.

A case has been filed. But these three brothers need to be arrested and tried to uphold the rule of law in the country.