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Republic of Bangladesh Anti-Drug Operations - 77 killed in encounters in under 2 weeks

Discussion in 'South Asia & SAARC' started by Hindustani78, May 27, 2018.

  1. Hindustani78

    Hindustani78 Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    DHAKA:, May 27, 2018 17:37 IST
    Updated: May 27, 2018 17:41 IST
    http://www.thehindu.com/news/intern...der-2-weeks/article24006614.ece?homepage=true


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    This photograph taken on April 6, 2018 shows a Bangladesh Border Guard (BGB) laying out small bags of the drug ‘yaba’ recovered from a passenger bus in a search at a checkpost along the Teknaf-Cox’s Bazar highway in Teknaf. | Photo Credit: AFP


    The number of people killed in an anti-drug operation in Bangladesh has climbed to 77 in less than two weeks, after the death of another nine suspected drug-traffickers in the last few hours, officials said on Sunday.

    A suspected trafficker, who the police believed to be a supplier of the drug yaba, was killed in a gunfight with the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) in Cox’s Bazar district, RAB commander of the area, Ruhul Amin, told Efe news.

    “Last night [Saturday] while patrolling on marine drive our team spied some riders on a motorbike carrying yaba in the Noakhali para area. When they challenged them, there was an exchange of fire,” he said.

    The remaining eight deaths occurred in gunfights with the police in the districts of Mymensingh, Bagerhat, Noakhali, Chandpur, Chittagong, Kushtia, Thakurgaon and Khulna.

    3,300 people arrested

    According to the RAB, 3,300 people have been arrested during the campaign that was launched beginning of May, and 2,795 drug dealers and users have been handed fines or jail terms in trials in mobile courts.

    On May 3, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had launched the anti-drug campaign that human rights activists have compared to the aggressive drug war launched by Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte in that country.

    Human rights activists in Bangladesh have called the anti-drug campaign legal.

    Bangladeshi security forces, particularly the RAB, have been repeatedly accused by local and international human rights groups of carrying out extra-judicial killings in alleged encounters with criminals and terrorists.

    According to the non-profit Odhikar, 3,060 people were killed by the security forces between 2001 and April 30, 2018, with 73 of the killings taking place in the first four months of this year.

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  2. Hindustani78

    Hindustani78 Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Bangladesh kills 86, arrests 7,000 in anti-drugs campaign
    [​IMG]
    Bangladesh's Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) soldiers stand guard during a raid on suspected drug dealers at Mohammadpur Geneva Camp in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Saturday, May 26, 2018. (AP)
    http://www.arabnews.com/node/1311051/world
    DHAKA: Bangladesh police have killed at least 86 people and arrested about 7,000 since launching a crackdown on drug trafficking this month, officials said on Monday, raising fears from rights activists of a Philippines-style war on drugs.

    Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina approved the anti-narcotics campaign in early May to tackle the spread of ya ba, as methamphetamine is widely known in Asia, and worth an estimated $3 billion annually, government officials say.

    The drug is sourced from Myanmar's northeast and smuggled into neighbouring Bangladesh.

    "In recent times, drug dealing has increased and we feel that people should be alert and motivated to act against it," Devdas Bhattacharya, a senior police official, told reporters.

    "The process will continue until it's eradicated totally".

    He said police arrested six people on Sunday, including a 12-year-old boy from Myanmar's Rohingya Muslim community, who had carried 3,350 ya ba tablets to the capital, Dhaka.

    Bangladesh has said an influx last year of Rohingya fleeing Buddhist-majority Myanmar is partly to blame for soaring methamphetamine use. But many Rohingya say their young people are being pushed into crime because they cannot legally work or, in many cases, get access to aid.

    The 86 deaths occurred when police defended themselves in confrontations with suspected drug traffickers, said Mufti Mahmud Khan, a director of the police Rapid Action Battalion.

    "It's their legal right to save themselves from the attack," Mufti told Reuters.

    Human rights activists are worried the Bangladesh campaign is taking a page from the Philippine drugs war, in which thousands of people have been killed in the past two years.

    "The Sheikh Hasina government says it is a protector of human rights, so it should reform its domestic record, set an example, instead of wishing to be compared to an abusive regime," said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director for Human Rights Watch.

    Ganguly said the government "should heed concerns and allegations by families and activists that several of these deaths could be extrajudicial killings".

    Interior minister Asaduzzaman Khan rejected the rights group's allegations and denied that police had carried out any extra-judicial killings. He said dozens of police had been injured in anti-drug operations.

    The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) said the anti-drugs drive was part of a campaign to intimidate it but Khan also rejected that, saying ruling party members would not be spared if found guilty of drug crimes.

    "We are determined to save our young generation from the curse of drugs," he said.
     

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