Odhikar concerned over extrajudicial killing, violence

Staff Correspondent

Rights organisation Odhikar has expressed deep concern over the continued extrajudicial killings and political violence during the ongoing blockade and general strike called by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led demanding a fresh election.
In monthly human rights monitoring report released on Friday, the rights watchdog called for an immediate resolution of the ongoing political crisis through dialogue.
It said, ‘The main reason for the current political crisis is forcible assumption of power through conducting connived, highly criticised and controversial elections on January 5, 2014.’
There  is  no  alternative  to hold  a free,  fair  and  credible parliamentary  election  immediately  by  ensuring  the participation of all political parties, under a neutral  government to resolve  the crisis, the report said.
Odhikar said that 37 people were allegedly killed extra-judicially in February in the name of ‘crossfire,’ ‘encounters’ and ‘gun fights,’ and other means by Rapid Action Battalion, police and Border Guard Bangladesh.
Of the 37 people, nine were BNP activists, nine of the Jamaat-e-Islami, one was a regional leader of Purba Banglar Communist Party, one was a factory worker, one was a cell phone service centre employee, four were youths and 12 were crime suspects.
Besides, 16 people were shot in the leg allegedly by the law enforcers after their arrest in February.
Odhikar also stated that 38 people were killed and 714 were injured in political violence in February.
Of the victims, 31 were killed and 309 were injured in petrol bomb and arson attacks during blockades and strike.
The report said that seven people were disappeared in February. Of them, three were found dead and another was later handed over to the police.
It criticised the continued arrest by the law enforcers in drives against the opposition leaders and activists.
‘The  total  official capacity  of  the 68  prisons  in  the  country  is  34,167. There  were  more  than  75,000  inmates  in  jails,  as  result  of mass  arrests,’ the report said.
Human rights violations by Indian Border Security Force continued along the borders five Bangladeshis were killed by them in February.
Lynching continues during the political crisis as seven people were lynched in February, the report said.
The rights organisation condemned the killing of American citizen and blogger Avijit Roy by criminals who stabbed him and his wife Rafida Ahmed Bonnya indiscriminately.

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