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     Volume 4 Issue 47 | May 20, 2005 |

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'The best way to solve any problem is to remove its cause'*


The thought is terrifying.
In every 'encounter' when a 'terrorist' is killed in 'crossfire' in the wee hours of a fateful day (or is it night?), all his accomplices who had reportedly engaged in attacking the posse representing the law enforcement force had conveniently melted back into the darkness. None of the attackers have been caught or even known to have been injured in the hostile skirmish. After the engagement (no exchange of rings here) the law enforcers only got "dead" the one or two apprehended 'criminals' they already had "alive" in their custody.

The thought is chilling.
Before the violent confrontation the assailants were free and were armed with very effective weapons. After the violent confrontation they are still free and armed; but perhaps with a little more target practice. The only comforting information emerging out of the entire episode is that the attackers are terrible as shooters. For one thing, they are forever missing their target (logically the law enforcers) and gunning down the very fellow they are apparently trying to liberate. (This has no reference to Bush, Blair or Iraq.) These blokes could never have done this country proud in any international shooting competition short bore, long bore, and the story has now become a bore.

The thought is frightening.
Such fierce and risky engagements are certainly perilous for men trying to maintain law and order, but fret not, for if one starts to think the solutions emerge like the first streaks of daybreak.

For instance, one definitive way to avoid stumbling upon dangerous unseen people who want to free their friend by killing him is to go searching for the hidden weapons in broad daylight. The partners in crime of the man in custody would then not be able to shoot for fear of being seen. No shooting, no casualty, no need to explain to the rest of the world for the sake of our image how we found a pipe gun.

Another sure shot (oops! pun not intended) way to evade the bad guys and their firing prowess is to give the apprehended guy a makeover, as seen in fashion programmes on TV. When venturing out in quest of concealed arms, simply disguise the chap in such a manner that his friends will think it was someone else. What better and safer opportunity to discover the four bullets when unsuspectingly the whole gang looks the other way!

A third option could be to educate the detained man in cartography. He could then pinpoint the exact location of the hidden arms on a map. There would be no need to take him along in search of the confessed specimen of crime and thus provoke his pals. Law enforcers could follow the map, reach the spot during the day, the friends of the arrested person would be sh _ _ scared of sunlight and not fire anything, the safety of our men would be ensured, and there you have it, eureka!

The thought is now public.
On May 13, 2005 The Daily Star headlined a report by its Staff Correspondent: "ROCCA CONCERNED OVER AHMADIYYA INCIDENTS, EXTRA-JUDICIAL KILLINGS'.

The news item read: US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs Christina Rocca yesterday expressed concerns at the Ahmadiyya incidents and extra-judicial killings by the law-enforcers in Bangladesh.

And went on: Rocca, now on a two-day official visit, spoke at a press conference at the American Centre in Dhaka yesterday afternoon after a series of meetings with government and opposition leaders.

"We want that all terrorists are prosecuted wherever they are, whether they are in Bangladesh or elsewhere. Essentially in Bangladesh, we will certainly encourage the government to go after those who would undermine the long tradition of tolerance, moderation and peace."

"These elements are not only a threat to the United States but also other countries where they are active." She hailed the government ban on two Islamist groups.

She said extra-judicial killings are not supportable and the US obviously condemns the killings in so-called crossfire.

A day earlier on May 12, 2005 The Daily Star carried an item by BDNEWS. It was headlined: GOVT TO PROBE DEATHS IN RAB CROSSFIRE; DECIDES CABINET COMMITTEE.

Amidst controversies over extra-judicial killings, the government yesterday decided to conduct executive enquiry into the deaths in "crossfire" with Rapid Action Battalion (Rab).

"We will conduct executive enquiry into the incidents," State Minister for Home Lutfozzaman Babar told journalists after a meeting of the cabinet committee on law and order.

"The enquiry will start shortly," he said.
LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan who chaired the meeting said an enquiry would take place to examine whether the incidents of death were intentional.

Available statistics show more than 80 people were killed in Rab "crossfire" since the anticrime force went into action on March 26 last year.

The thought is necessary.
Let us look long and deep at ourselves. Let us be Kingly and try to uncover the cause of terrorism at all levels and modes. Although armed violence has increasingly overwhelmed subsequent government machinery, people (also voters) who barely subsist are additionally subjected to fearful bullying for instance in the marketplace, in the construction industry and in transportation without a single gunshot being fired.

One way to stride towards freedom from all forms of intimidation, including armed, is to root out the cause. You will not be surprised to find out (because you already know) that many of the roots of all our problems exist in human form.


* Martin Luther King, Jr, (US civil rights leader) in 'Stride toward Freedom'

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