Extrajudicial killing harms justice dispensation

ONE of the prime suspects of the murder of four children being killed in a reported gunfight early Thursday, as New Age reported on Friday, is worrisome on a couple of counts. Prime suspects of murder coming to be killed in such a way is nothing short of extrajudicial killing, which needs to be stopped, once and for all, as it stands in the way of justice dispensation and, often, hides the plot and the plotters from both the public eye and from law. A suspect is arrested, a gunfight breaks out between the law enforcers and the associates of the suspect, either in the place the suspect is arrested at or while the suspect is taken on a round to recover hidden weapons or to arrest his other associates, the suspect is hit with a bullet with the associates managing to escape and the suspect, on reaching a medical facility, is pronounced dead. This narration that the authorities concerned routinely give to explain such extrajudicial killing has already become so clichéd that people, even when the narration might be true, hardly believe that such incidents taking place in the same manner across all the places, month after month, could be true.
It is high time that such narration now ceased, ending the practice of such extrajudicial killing. Extrajudicial killing of the suspects of any crimes taking place in such manner, in the first place, harms the justice delivery system, for the victims as they are denied their right to defence, for the rule of the law, as much for the citizens, because in the event of the death of the suspects, it becomes almost impossible to know what actually happened and who are the others, if there are any, behind the crimes. In such a situation, it becomes difficult to establish if there are others behind the crimes and such perpetrators, if there are any, who slip out of the hand of the law, could continue to commit crimes in society. This is where lies the concern of the state and its citizens. There are, then, other issues of grave concern that extrajudicial killing of this nature could lead to lawlessness in society. Against this backdrop, it is the responsibility of the government to ensure that the killing of suspects of a crime, or any extrajudicial killing for that matter, does not take place and that everybody, in the event of crimes, is afforded their right to defence in the court of law.
Under the circumstances, the government is well advised to stop such extrajudicial killing and to carry out investigation of all such incidents, taking place now or the ones that took place in the past, in a credible manner in the greater interest of the rule of law and justice dispensation and deterrently punish anyone found to be guilty. Society should also come forward to raise voice against, and mount pressure on the government to stop, such incidents.

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