‘Killings of drug peddlers not extrajudicial’

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Hindustan Surkhiyan Desk:Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader yesterday said drug peddlers are being killed in “encounters” with law enforcers which should not be counted as “extrajudicial killings”.

“We don’t support extrajudicial killings, but drug peddlers have a syndicate. They have ties with terrorists and armed criminals. When police go to arrest them [drug peddlers], they fight them [police] with arms. Encounters take place. You can’t call it an extrajudicial killing,” Obaidul said.

He was talking to journalists after inspecting a drive against traffic rule violators conducted by mobile courts of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) on Manik Mia Avenue in the capital.

Obaidul, also the general secretary of ruling Awami League, said the drive is being carried out for the sake of people’s interest, and people are happy with the drive.

Asked whether any action will be taken against ruling Awami League lawmaker Abdur Rahman Bodi, whose name came in several intelligence reports as a godfather of yaba trading, Obaidul did not give any direct answer.

He said as per the directives of prime minister, action will be taken against those who are involved in the narcotics trade, regardless of how powerful they are.

“An MP can’t be arrested instantly. Action must be taken [against him] if his guilt can be proved through evidence,” he said.

Replying to a question, he said Awami League supports the drive, but not “crossfire”.

In response to BNP’s criticism over the crackdown on narcotics, Quader said, “BNP is being bothered by the fact that people of the country are supporting the government on this.”

He added that many people affiliated with BNP are also involved with drug trade. They will not be spared, Obaidul said.

119 VEHICLES PENALISED

In total, four mobile courts of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) yesterday penalised owners of 119 vehicles for plying those on Dhaka and Gazipur streets violating traffic rules.

Two mobile courts conducted drives on Manik Mia Avenue while one each at Jatrabari and Gazipur Chowrastha with the presence of police.

The mobile courts also realised Tk 2.38 lakh in fines, according to a press release.

Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader visited Manik Mia Avenue spot and distributed leaflets to raise awareness about road safety.

Among the vehicles, four were dumped while documents of seven other vehicles were seized as their drivers failed to pay the fine. Three drivers were given jail sentences for different terms for reckless driving.

The drive against such unfit vehicles and rule violators will continue to ease the traffic jam in the capital, BRTA said.

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