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Crossfire-Good or Bad?

What is crossfire & how does it happen in our country?

Now a day the word crossfire is one of the most focused and highlighted word in
our country. It is also a regular incident that is happening almost everyday in our country.
Everyday at morning we get the newspaper and start to run our eyes through it at a glance,
somehow almost everyday we find a news of crossfire in the newspaper. Almost all the news
are contain with same type of description and as it is very familiar to us most of the days we
dont even read those news of crossfire.
Crossfire is an incident in which a person or criminal who is arrested by the law enforcing
agencies have killed in encounter. After the so called encounter the law enforcing agencies
give a statement to media and the media report the incident in these common words- A
terrorist have arrested by the police or RAB and after a certain period of arrest the police or
RAB make an operation to find other terrorist or illegal arms and during this operation other
terrorist attacked the police or RAB. So the law enforcing agencies members also have to
open their fire and and the arrested person or criminal tried to escape from custody during
this firing session and fall in crossfire and died. And thus crossfire happens in our country.
It is almost known to everyone that this description of so called encounter is not true at all.
But somehow this so called encounter is continuing and became regular.

Legal value of crossfire

According to the description of so called encounter from the law enforcement
agencies, the person died in crossfire and thus law enforcing agencies have no responsibility
for the killing. Even they give this kind of description to avoid their responsibility. But as it is
a fake description and most of the cases of crossfire the arrested person or criminal are killed
by the law enforcing agencies, there should be a legal question about this killings. Because
the law enforcing agencies are not authorized to kill anyone. If the truth behind these so
called encounters is considered, crossfire is illegal in the eyes of law.

Effects of crossfire
As crossfire has become a regular matter in our country, it is affecting our country,
society, legal system, justice and the people of this country.

Negative effects Violating human rights

Crossfire is violating human rights. Each and every single person in this world have the
right to support himself. Even a high profile criminal also have the right to get justice.
And for get justice one must have to go through proper a legal and judicial system.
Everybody is equal in the eye of law. So everybody have the right to get justice. If
anyone is suspected or surely known as a criminal, h/she cant be said so or be punished
without proper trail or judgment of the court. So everybody have to placed before the
court to prove their crime otherwise anyone cant be punished. But those who have killed
in so called crossfire cant face the court and thus they prevented from getting justice

Misusing the power of law enforcing agencies

Law enforcing agencies are not authorized to kill a person. But in the name of
crossfire they are killing people or the criminals. It is excess of their power. They are
only allowed to enforce the law to arrest, investigate, or maintain security and
discipline in the society. After arresting or taking someone in custody the law
enforcement agencies have to place the person before court and follow the orders of
court about the person. Without proper judicial process, killing a person is illegal and
the person cant get justice. Many times innocent people are killed by the law
enforcement agencies and the person even havent get the chance to face the court.
Sometimes the law enforcement agencies are hired to kill someone in the name of
crossfire. Thus the law enforcing agencies are seriously misusing their power by
crossing their limit to enforce law.
Breaking the legal system
Legal system of a country is dependent of the establishment of the rule of law. It is
only the court which can give punishment to a person or can give order to death. So
the law enforcement agencies have no right to kill anyone. But as they are doing such
kind of works regularly they are not only violating human rights but also breaking the

judicial process. And breaking of legal system is never a good sign for a country on
the other hand it is enough for starting the process of breaking social discipline.
International pressure
Crossfire is creating negative impression about us to foreign countries as well as
development partners. International community is always concerned about our
people. As crossfire is violating human rights they are very much worried about the
issue. For preventing this practice of crossfire, they are continuously discussing with
the government. Sometimes they are creating some prevention about their regular
donation or by preventing any contract which is very essential to keep our
economical flow.

Positive effectsIt is not that crossfire have only negative effects. From some point of view
it have some positive effects too.

Rapid action against high profile terrorist

The judicial process of our country is very lengthy. Sometimes it takes ten to fifteen
years to dispose a case. So if high profile terrorist cases also take such time it will
be a threat for national security. So it is necessary to take rapid action against these
high profile and most wanted criminals. So in some cases like these most dangerous
criminals rapid action like crossfire or encounter is more preferable and safe than
regular lengthy judicial process. And in some cases people are also happy when
they hear the news of encounter of a notorious terrorist. For example in the year of
2004 when the most wanted terrorist Pichhi Hannan was killed in the encounter of
newly formed RAB many people distributed sweets to express their joy.

No chance of political consideration

Though judiciary is separated from executive branch in our country still in some
judicial system is influenced by the government through political
consideration. And for this any most wanted top terror who is punished by the court
can get free through political consideration. Sometimes the government withdraw

the cases against high profile criminals in the name of political consideration. Thus
many top terror can get free from the hand of law. But if rapid action like encounter
or crossfire can be taken against those top terrors, they would never get the chance
to take political shelter.

Crossfire is a debating issue

No doubt that crossfire is a sensitive and debating issue. There are many
people who are against crossfire on the other hand some people are in favor of it. The
description of crossfire given by the law enforcement agencies is not illegal though it is
known to everybody that what really happens is totally illegal. Though so called crossfire is
illegal in the eyes of law and most of the cases it is neither acceptable nor expectable and
though it is never a good practice but somehow in some cases crossfire has some advantages

Masrurul Haque
ID 14109006
School of Law, BRAC University.