An affront to Limon’s right to justice
The proposal to Limon, the college student of Jhalakathi who was shot at by the Rapid Action Battalion in March 2011 and had his left leg amputated, by the deputy commissioner of the district that the former should withdraw the case filed against the battalion for clemency in the cases lodged against him by the force has, indeed, reasons to raise eyebrows in the ethical section of society in general and of rights activists in particular. According to a report of New Age on Wednesday, the deputy commissioner made the proposal ‘during a courtesy visit’ to the boy and his mother on October 24. The battalion filed two cases against Limon on charges of possessing illegal firearm and obstructing police duties soon after the brutal incident had taken place. On the other hand, Limon’s mother had to face array of trouble filing the case against the perpetrators. With local police declining to record the case, she had to approach the court in this regard. Worse still, as the police have secretly submitted the final report to the court clearing all the accused battalion members of the charges brought by her in August, she had to file an objection petition on which the court is scheduled to give order on December 12.
Under the circumstances, it is likely that the proposal at hand is a fresh move on part of the government to protect its elite crime-busting force facing growing criticism at home and abroad, especially, for its leading role of the personnel in extrajudicial executions galore for the past few years. However, as the secretary to the rights group Odhikar pointed out, it cannot be ruled out that the deputy commissioner has gone beyond his jurisdiction by requesting a victim for withdrawal of a pending case. Besides, such a move from the deputy commissioner, supposed to ensure justice for the people of his area, is tantamount to denying the victim his right to justice. It is, however, also true that the proposal in question tends to suggest some sort of realisation on part of the government that the cases against Limon have little merit, an argument the ethical section of society and the media have raised on more occasions than one while demanding withdrawal of those cases ever since their filing. Hence, we strongly support the rights activists’ plea that the government had better withdraw the cases and end the sufferings of the poor boy struggling to make his dream to lead a self-reliant and dignified life a reality.
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