Over 600 extra-judicial killings in the name of 'encounter' and 'crossfire' in the custody of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and police since formation of the elite force about two years back made a serious dent on the country's human rights (HR) position, said legal experts.
In the beginning, most of the extra-judicial killings happened in RAB custody. But later, police jumped on the bandwagon apparently to prove their worth.
However, the legal experts and human rights activists termed the incidents of extra-judicial killings as an alarming situation for the democracy, and fundamental and human rights of the country.
They demanded judicial investigations into the killing incidents in the custody of the law enforcing agencies and punishment of those involved in such killings.
As many as 100 people were killed in crossfire or encounter during January-May period, including the killing of five people in separate encounters and crossfire by the police and RAB in Dhaka, Chittagong and Khulna Friday.
The deceased are two listed terrorists Wasim alias Wasi and Zakir alias Tunda Zakir, two dacoits Siraj (25) and Firoz (26) and Zulfikar Ali Bhutta, a cadre of the outlawed Purba Banglar Communist Party (Lal Pataka).
Bangladesh Bar Council Vice Chairman and former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Rokanuddin Mahmud told BDNEWS Friday that Bangladesh had become champion in not only corruption but also in committing extra-judicial killings.
"All the incidents of deaths in the custody of the law enforcing agencies are treated as extra-judicial killings in every country in the world. The persons involved in the extra-judicial killings should be tried and punished. The incidents of killings in the name of crossfire should immediately be stopped," he said.
Rokan also blamed the government for the extra-judicial killings.
"The government did not take any action against the persons who killed the people in custody without any trial. As per the provisions of the constitution, everybody has the right to get justice. But the government is not abiding by the constitution," he said.
The jurist said the extra-judicial killings in one hand are clear violation of the human rights, on the other hand, have tarnished the image of the country abroad, and made Bangladesh known as a country of human rights violator.
"Bangladesh has seriously been criticised due to the incidents of extra-judicial killings. Executive investigations into the incidents are merely unreal, immoral, unjust and expression of no-confidence on the constitution, existing laws and judiciary," he commented.
Chairman of the Human Rights and Legal Aid Committee of the Bangladesh Bar Council ZI Khan Panna said the incidents of killing in the name of crossfire and encounter in Bangladesh are the most barbaric and inhuman incident in the 21st century.
"The persons who are involved in the killings in custody of the law enforcing agencies are convicted as per the Criminal Procedure of Code (CrPC). Nothing can be more barbaric than the incidents of killing in the custody," he said.
Former secretary of SCBA M Enayetur Rahim condemned the incidents of the extra-judicial killings.
"Killings in the custody of the law enforcing agencies without handing over the arrested persons to the courts are the same offences that militants under the shelter and instigation of the government are committing," he maintained.