New Delhi gang-rape protesters tear-gassed

Updated 22 December 2012
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New Delhi gang-rape protesters tear-gassed

NEW DELHI: Indian police yesterday tear-gassed, baton-charged and fired water cannon at demonstrators in the sixth and most violent day of protests against the brutal gang-rape of a student last weekend.
Thousands of protesters, most of them college students, rallied at the India Gate monument in the heart of the Indian capital and then surged toward the sprawling presidential palace.
Angry protesters shouting “We want justice” called for better safety for women across the country as police struggled to control the crowd, while the 23-year-old victim was still battling for her life in a New Delhi hospital.
Some carried banners that read: “Hang them (the rapists) now.”
Six drunk men were joyriding in a bus when they picked up the physiotherapy student and her 28-year-old male companion. They took turns raping her before throwing the pair off the speeding vehicle.
During her ordeal the victim was attacked with an iron rod, causing serious intestinal injuries.
The attack was the latest in a series of violent assaults on women in the capital that have triggered demands for stricter laws and swifter prosecutions.
On Saturday, riot police were called in and routes leading to the demonstration site were cordoned off to contain the protests in which some of the demonstrators were seen throwing stones.
Clashes erupted when a group in the crowd tried to break through police barricades and march toward the president’s house.
Around 20 students were injured in the clashes and were taken to hospital in the capital, the Press Trust of India reported.
Doctors at the hospital where the rape victim was being treated said she was in a critical but stable condition and had been removed from a ventilator.
“She is doing much better than yesterday. She took sips of water and apple juice today,” B.D. Athani, medical superintendent of Safdarjung Hospital, told reporters.
The victim is “very brave, positive and optimistic,” said another doctor, Abhilasha Yadav.
As outrage intensified over last Sunday’s attack the government apealed for calm.
“This is not a way to protest. Trying to storm buildings and breaking barricades is not a way to start a dialogue,” junior home minister R.P.N. Singh told India’s CNN-IBN television network.
“The government is trying to do whatever it can to take measures and make sure women are safe in the country.”
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh weighed in, telling the home minister to ensure a feeling of security among Delhi residents.
The government said on Friday it would press for life sentences for the woman’s six attackers and promised stricter policing. They also promised to pay the victim’s medical bills.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, spokesman for the main national opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), told reporters New Delhi “is becoming the rape capital” of India.
BJP opposition leader Sushma Swaraj has demanded rapists receive the death penalty.
The number of rape cases in New Delhi has risen 17 percent to 661 this year from a year ago, according to government figures, the highest number among India’s big cities.
Experts say a combination of abusive sexual behavior, a scant fear of the law and India’s creaky judicial system encourage such attacks in the bustling city of 19 million people.
Five of the suspects were arrested soon after the crime and a sixth was caught Friday.


Bangladesh declares zero tolerance against drug dealers

Bangladesh's Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) soldiers during a raid on suspected drug dealers at Mohammadpur Geneva Camp in Dhaka Saturday. (AP)
Updated 27 May 2018
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Bangladesh declares zero tolerance against drug dealers

  • Law enforcers have so far arrested 3,000 drug dealers, while 23 drug peddlers were killed during “gunfights” while they were being captured.
  • Human rights activists and the country’s largest opposition party the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) have criticized the “gunfight” incidents as a “violation of human rights.”

DHAKA: Bangladesh has declared a war on drugs throughout the country. In the past 12 days around 84 alleged drug dealers were killed during gunfights with the law-enforcing agencies.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina launched the anti-narcotic drive in early May.

Human rights activists and the country’s largest opposition party the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) have criticized the “gunfight” incidents as a “violation of human rights.”

On early Sunday, 11 drug dealers were killed in separate gunfight incidents throughout the country. Among the dead was a ruling party leader who was a city councilor in Cox’s Bazar City.

The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), a paramilitary law-enforcing agency, started its anti-narcotic movement on May 4. And it has so far arrested 3,000 drug dealers, while 23 drug peddlers were killed during “gunfights” while they were being captured.

Commander Mufti Mahmud Khan, spokesperson of the RAB, told Arab News: “There is no question of violation of human rights in our ongoing war against drugs.”

He said that when the RAB captured any armed person or group generally some shootout incidents took place. And, he claimed, it also happens in the US and other developed countries. “We arrest the drug dealers based on intel information and later on they are produced to the court.”

Bangladesh Police started its all-out operation against drugs on May 15, and police headquarters has directed all its units to start countrywide operations against dealers.

Mohammad Masudur Rahman, deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said: “Our anti-narcotic operations will continue till the situations come down to a tolerant level.” He said the only objective of this operation was to bring down the usage level of narcotics in society.

Justifying the anti-drug movement, Masudur added: “We only arrest the persons with whom we get drugs. And we will continue this movement for an indefinite period.”

Obaidul Quader, general secretary of ruling party Bangladesh Awami League, said: “Any drug trader, irrespective of party, won’t be spared if accusations become true.

“The countrymen have amicably welcomed the law enforcement agencies’ drives against narcotics. Only those with evil political intentions are criticizing the crackdown,” Quader told local media on Saturday.

But Advocate Asadujjaman, human rights secretary of the BNP, claimed that in many areas of the country their supporters and leaders were arrested in the name of the anti-drug movement.

He added: “Any kind of extrajudicial killing is unconstitutional, illegal, inhuman and a violation of human rights of international standard. It shows that the government is not showing any respect to protect the basic rights of the people as stated in the Constitution.”

The country’s human rights group is also criticizing the killings. Nur Khan, renowned human rights activist and adviser of the Human Rights Support Society, demanded an investigation into every extrajudicial killing through a neutral and credible Investigation Commission.

Nur said: “This type of extrajudicial killing will establish the culture of absence of justice in the society. People will get frightened due to this situation.”