We have confidence that the people in charge of maintaining the law and order are doing this with an honest intention to lessen crimes in the society and the country. However, the way they are doing it is questionable. Are these cases where the accused have to be arrested without warrant in such a way?
In terms of human rights and the law, there are certain standards for the enforcement of the law. It’s a kind of ‘media trial’ that is being conducted as the identities have been disclosed to the public based only on allegations. How appropriate is it to bring them in front of the people’s court?
There are considerable objections against such behaviour from the humanitarian point of view. Unless the allegations against these people are not proven in the court, they cannot be termed as ‘accused’ either. However, such words are being used too.
If it is revealed after the trial that they did not commit the crime, then what are the arrangements to compensate for the damage done to the reputation and mental health of the persons facing the allegations? The state cannot act this way with its people. The law enforcement agencies must take action against offences such as drug addiction, extortion and putting people in danger. But our demand is that they would do that in compliance with the law, they would not breach the conditions of people’s rights and dignity. We must not forget that the law enforcement is not the judge.
I hope that the people facing these charges will get justice. If they have committed a crime, they should be punished. But the point is, none of them are committing these crimes alone. As can be seen from the details we get, many more people are involved. There are people involved who have the financial, political and social accords to patronise such criminal offences as well. However, we do not have any trace of the people behind the scenes.
I am not saying this to protect a woman or to save someone. But it is also undeniable that women can be used for these purposes quite easily. Why aren’t those patrons being brought to book? These people are arrogant and powerful. They are also engaged in anti-politics, the black money driven economy and corruption. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to identify these masterminds and bring them to book. I hope that the law enforcement agencies will take that responsibility seriously.
*Sultana Kamal is a human right activist.
*This report appeared in the print and online editions of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten in English by Ashish Basu.