Saturday, December 17, 2011

Disappearances and secret killings

Creating panic among common people.


The crossfire and custodial deaths-related criminalities have been chillingly surpassed by abduction, disappearances and surfacing of dead bodies with scar-marks of third degree methods -- all enacted in cloak anzd dagger manner. It is just not enough to say that citizens have started panicking, they are growing apprehensive of newer forms of brutalisation and exaction of vendetta that is complete anachronism in a democracy.

In cases of custodial deaths and cross- fire the perpetrators were easily identifiable but so far as disappearances-led fatalities go, their identities are masked. This accentuates the fear of the unknown which is even more dangerous. The accounts of relatives of the victims and in some cases those of witnesses suggest that plainclothes men picked up the targeted persons and spirited them away in microbuses or some other vehicles.

Whether they are law enforcement personnel like, for instance, Rab, police or detective branch people in plainclothes at whom relatives, eye-witnesses and an Odhikar report pointed a finger of suspicion or they are hired impersonating gangs on a killing mission, we have a serious law and order challenge on our hands. If the killers are hiding behind a facade or lawmen using a new tactic, they couldn't have done so without a nod from somebody and if they are doing it all by themselves then this is clearly running a vicious mini-government within the government.

What is regrettably disquieting is the blas√© attitude shown by the home minister to the horrific development. She said she had only come to know of it through newspaper reports. Reportedly, a certain negative attitude was shown by the police in registering the cases whilst the Rab and police have clearly denied having anything to do with the disappearances. Some of the victims have been associated with the BNP or its wings such as Shechha Sebak Dal or Chhatra Dal. 

The state has a huge responsibility in protecting and securing the lives of its citizens, their affiliations or track records regardless. If lawmen should take law into their own hands or fail to rein in gangs doing it then the state's authority is laid open to question. 

The state must not only discourage terrorisation but also be seen to be doing so. That is the big challenge before the government; for, if people can carry out abduction and killing missions with impunity this smacks of the imagery of deaths squads in parts of Latin America. 

We must put this blatant and dangerous abuse of power to end at once while the culprits are exposed and sternly dealt with after a no-nonsense investigation.