By Faisal Mahmud
Bangladesh's security forces have killed more than 30 alleged drug dealers in gun battles over the past week with right activists warning a campaign of extrajudicial killings may be under way.
The suspects were killed across the country under similar circumstances since the nationwide crackdown on the narcotics trade was launched in early May, Al Jazeera discovered from police reports.
In most cases, local police and members of the elite Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) force acted on tip-offs, raided houses where alleged drug traffickers operated, and after coming under fire engaged in deadly "shootouts".
Some relatives of the deceased, however, say their family members were picked up by police and later shot dead.
Criticising the deaths, Bangladeshi human rights activist Sultana Kamal said at a press conference on Monday that arrests should be made and suspects tried before a court, but that is not happening.
"People do not want to witness such killings. It is a violation of law to use the firearms, bought by the people's money, in extrajudicial killings. What is the country's judicial system for, if the law enforcers themselves try to serve justice?" said Kamal.