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“All Citizens are Equal before Law and are Entitled to Equal Protection of Law”-Article 27 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh

Issue No: 192
June 4, 2005

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Law Opinion

The ominous trend of cross-fire

Farhad Rahman

Bangladesh has been inching her way forward to democracy via the cross in the various social, political and economic struggle. In the process of institutionalising democracy, success will be, due inter-alia to rule of law as a sine-qua-non characteristic where by the govt. will be just and the opposition party and all other citizens regardless of race, cast and creed secure and the peace preserved. For establishing good governance through rule of law peace should be based on justice, civil liberties shall be protected and the social security shall be strengthened.

Within the span of a more than a decade time efforts preserved for institutionalising democracy, achievement made, in the context of rule of law is infinitesimal and insignificant. Moreover, in the recent years law and order situation deteriorated very badly. The killing of political leaders, intellectuals, journalists, teachers, businessmen and many other innocent people by the underworld criminals, religious fanatics, extremists and zealots through grenade and bomb attack and using other deadly weapons and unauthorised arms, have endangered the society and social life completely insecure. The whole country is seething with frustration on the failure of law enforcers. In such a situation, in last year govt. has organised elite forces in different names to face the crisis. It is worth mentionable that, elite forces have, in short time, arrested a good number gangsters of criminals, extremists, terrorists and almost all of them have been killed by cross-fire as stated by the elite forces. This way, elite forces by killing them in the name of cross-fire deprive the accused persons from access to justice making the judiciary useless and a farce.

In the sequel, innumerable associates of the gangsters are on the run and beyond the reach of the hand of law. Thus, this stunt of temporary relief by killing the gangsters is simultaneously protecting the godfathers permanently who will create new gangsters and will harbour them for their future need. So by terrorism of both the criminals and the state are violating constitutional and human rights. In this type of competitive violation's continuity of constitutional and human rights gradually hastening decay and doom of the rule of law and finally our hard-earned democracy in future.

Political leaders regardless of affiliation must remember the proverb "No cross no crown". In our strife-torn country when democracy is tottering on the brink of destruction all political parties have got to continue to struggle for justice with fortitude and unabated patience for establishing rule of law to acquire the crown of democracy. The political leadership must not give the chance to create a condition that would bring sufferings of the people whereby they will be charged of high treason by the people in their lifetime and the posterity will spite on their grave after their death.

The author is a former Deputy Commissioner.


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