Saturday, March 7, 2009

Need for neutral inquiry into Pilkhana massacre


It now appears from the configuration of main inquiry committee - established by the government in connection with 2/25 BDR revolt - the organizations represented through members to the committee are, in certain ways and as appropriate, parties to the enquiry.

For example, Bangladesh Army is a party because its members were, among other things, victims of 2/25. They are - among others - justice seekers from the country. Further, they represent one of the components of the country's executive branch - the branch that had recently managed the surrender by BDR mutinous soldiers in a successful fashion. It will not be out of place to mention here, the creation of enabling environment for ensuring the right justice for all concerned at the right time and place would depend on prima-facie the quality and the quantity of outcomes of the enquiry, among other things. In other words, a fool proof inquiry could perhaps do the needful in the above matter.

In addition, the fool proof enquiry into 2/25 could, as far as humanly possible - though, enhance the enquiry related credibility - manifolds - before people of Bangladesh and people of world at large. In light of above, I believe the country's other two branches - - that is, the legislature and the judiciary are at present and among other things rightly placed to conduct the enquiry into matters pertaining to 2/25. In such an event, the country's armed forces, the civil bureaucracy and others are also rightly placed to provide the required help and support to pertinent areas of the enquiry - technical, non-technical or otherwise.

One of the underlying assumptions here is: the outcome of enquiry and eventual outcomes of the country's criminal justice system - all in relation to 2/25 - will have bearing on Bangladesh's ability to do justice to all under a democratic system of governance, per se. But any shortfall in for example, delivering investigative justice by a legislature-judiciary led enquiry into matters pertaining to 2/25 could be counter-productive to for example, the well being of Bangladeshis, the rule of law in Bangladesh, the independence of judiciary in Bangladesh, democracy in Bangladesh and justice in Bangladesh, to mention a few.

The last word: would the present committee be able to deliver - at the right time - the type of investigative justice expected of a clean and competent legislature-judiciary led enquiry into 2/25? If not, at which stage of the enquiry or the post enquiry, the government would elect to go for the legislature-judiciary led enquiry?

As regards the army led enquiry, it will be difficult at this point in time to comment on the enquiry committee formed by Bangladesh Army in connection with 2/25 - largely due to the absence of TOR. The enquiry is perhaps an internal one.

We should be more united, more constructive, more time sensitive, more patient and more cooperative than that at present in the effort towards delivering Bangladesh from present crises, for instance.

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