Stop political killings, else the nation may suffer from further chaos

A NEWS item in an English daily on Monday reported a sudden rise in political killings identifying at least 24 persons who were killed in different parts of the country over the past two weeks since January 6, a day after the general elections, causing panic to the nation. It said seven slain persons belonged to the ruling party Awami League and were mainly victims of factional fights. Nine belonged to BNP and five to Jamaat-e-Islami and they were mainly victims of cross-fire or the killers were unidentified after they were picked up by persons in uniform from their homes. Three more belonged to the Jatiya Party.
As the report said, most victims of ‘shootouts’ occurred in the hands of law enforcers and they were opposition workers. Some bodies were recovered from the road-side after they were missing. The most sensational fact is that two victims at Nilphamari were the first and third accused in a case of an attack on the motorcade of a former Awami League lawmaker and present minister which occurred in December last. Another victim at Meherpur was the assistant secretary of the district unit of the Jamaat-e-Islami party who was earlier picked from a local branch of the Islami Bank. In the following night joint forces claimed he was killed in a shoot out when they went on a mission with him to recover arms, the story said.
We witness such stories and TV footages with shock and horror almost regularly now and wonder what is happening all over at a time when the nation expects a period of calm after the polls is over. We believe like others that the nation is now suffering from a deep sense of trauma and insecurity; but we are not sure where we may turn to and ask for minimum security for the nation. The most questionable failure of the law enforcers may be the fact that why the major accused in a political case involving an incumbent minister should brace the fate of murder before they were produced to the court to face due trial. There is a widespread conviction that they were victims of secret killing. Police did not give them protection.
As the reality in the ground stands, we are afraid a reign of terror is now sweeping the country in which people are falling victims of political vendetta among rival political parties and also in intra-party clashes, mainly within the ruling party. It shows that the rule of law is totally out of hand while the government is either allowing it to happen or failing to establish control over the situation. The report said the Inspector General of Police (IGP) declined to comment on whether or not political killings are taking place in the country. He insisted only on saying that police are chasing hooligans who are threatening peace in the society.
Meanwhile the National Human Rights Commission has criticized the spate of political killings terming it as ‘targeted murders’. Its chairman has warned if it can’t be stopped immediately to establish the rule of law, the nation would pay heavily for it. We also share his concerns and urge the government to act quickly to stop all such extrajudicial killings. We also urge all political parties and civil bodies to raise their voices against all such political killings to save the nation from falling into further chaos.