At least 24,052 suspected drug peddlers and addicts were arrested by the police and the Rapid Action Battalion during the ongoing nationwide anti-drug drive, they said Thursday afternoon.
And at least 150 suspected drug peddlers and addicts were killed, mostly in ‘gunfights’ from May 15 to June 12, according to police and RAB accounts.
No fresh deaths of drug peddlers or addicts were reported by the police or the Rab on Thursday.
On Thursday, US state department spokesperson Heather Nauert in a statement expressed concern regarding Bangladesh’s anti-drug drive.
‘We are concerned by reports that at least 147 people have been killed and 21,000 arrested since early May by Bangladeshi security forces in a nationwide counter-narcotics campaign. We urge Bangladesh to conduct thorough and transparent investigations into all credible reports of extrajudicial killings,’ says the statement.
‘While illegal drugs are a scourge across the world, Bangladesh should ensure its law enforcement respect human rights and that their conduct is consistent with international standards and Bangladesh’s own constitution, which includes a presumption of innocence and the right to due process. We look to the government of Bangladesh to fully meet its human rights obligations,’ it added.
The police arrested 18,517 suspects since its drive began on May 18, said assistant inspector general of police for media Soheli Ferdous.
And, of them, 510 suspects were arrested on Wednesday alone, said Soheli.
RAB arrested 5,535 suspects since its drive began on May 4 and 4,172 of them were jailed and fined by RAB’s mobile courts and 1,363 others were produced in courts for trial on drug charges, said a news release of Rab’s legal and media wing on Wednesday.
Dhaka Metropolitan police arrested 39 suspects in 24 hours ended 6 AM Thursday, DMP officials told New Age.
They said that the DMP also seized 2,988 Yaba tablets, 120 grams of heroin, 1.25 Kg of hemp and 20 litre of local liquor from their possession.
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