Jatiya Party lawmaker Kazi Firoz Rashid on Saturday opined that the only solution to drug problem was to kill drug peddlers and abusers by shooting.
The lawmaker made the comment while addressing a seminar on ‘anti-drug drive and social outlook’ arranged by Promises Medical Limited at the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies Auditorium in Dhaka.
The seminar was organised against the backdrop of deaths of at least 147 suspected drug peddlers and abusers in 26 days since May 15 and arrests of over 21,000 people during the ongoing anti-drug drive.
Firoz said that the drive was declared but the war against drugs was undeclared. ‘All the rules cannot be followed in a war. War means taking lives and giving lives.’
Mentioning that ‘a drug addict destroys a family’, he said that the sources of drugs must be destroyed.
The lawmaker heavily criticised human rights groups, civil society people and the quarters who spoke out against killing drug peddlers and addicts during the anti-drug drives.
The lawmaker, pointing to home minister Asaduzzaman Khan who was present in the seminar as chief guest, questioned why the minister feared using bullets. ‘You are the
home minister. You should not fear.’
‘The only solution is to kill some people [who are involved in drug peddling and abusing] by shooting. My words are clear,’ he said.
‘Those who are patrons of drug addicts and peddlers are out of touch. They are only a few. They have to be brought under shooting...,’ he said.
‘What is the problem if a country and its people remain safe and good by shooting ten thousand, twenty thousand or fifty thousand people to death,’ the lawmaker said.
Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan, however, said that the government had no intention to kill anyone and the incidents of casualties in anti-drug
drive were occurring when law enforcers faced obstructions.
He said that the law enforcers were going after only the persons whose names were common in lists prepared by five intelligence agencies and ensuring punishments for those who had admitted their involvement in drug peddling before mobile courts or regular courts.
‘Just a single allegation came out about the ongoing anti-drug drive and it has been taken care of,’ he said apparently referring to the ‘killing’ of Teknaf municipality ward councillor Akramul Haque in what the Rapid Action Battalion claimed a ‘gunfight’.
‘None will be spared if found guilty,’ the minister said.
Asaduzzaman informed that there were currently 83,349 inmates in prisons across the country, of which 39 per cent were there for drug-related offences.
Gonoshasthaya Kendra trustee Zafrullah Chowdhury said that the government was on the ‘wrong way’ in fighting drugs and that none should be killed without trial. ‘Even the death penalty is not expected.’
He suggested continuing the anti-drug drive and destroying the supply
Presided over by Department of Narcotics Control director general Md Jamal Uddin Ahmed, the seminar was also addressed by Awami League law affairs secretary SM Rezaul Karim, Bangladesh Nationalist Party leaders Sardar Sakhawat Hossain Bakul and Md Akhteruzzaman, psychologist Mehtab Khanom and Amader Orthoneeti editor Nayeemul Islam Khan.
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