Allegations of extrajudicial killings were raised against RAB soon after it was formed during the tenure of the BNP-led four-party alliance government
The BNP which had formed the Rapid Action Battalion raised the question of the necessity of the force because of its alleged involvement with different sorts of crimes in recent times.
“The force has been assigned to maintain law and order in the country and protect public life, but now they snatch people. In such a situation, time has come to think as to whether the force in the name of the elite force should continue or not,” BNP Acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told a press briefing yesterday at the party’s central office.
Allegations of extrajudicial killings were raised against RAB soon after it was formed during the tenure of the BNP-led four-party alliance government. But the then BNP government supported the activities of the newly formed force.
In recent times, many allegations had been raised against the elite force especially after the abduction and killing of seven people in Narayanganj. However, State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal yesterday said they had no plan to dissolve the elite force.
Fakhrul said three RAB officials were dismissed and investigation was going on against them. “It means that the government has acknowledged the incident.”
The spokesperson for the party demanded immediate resignation of the government for, what he said, failure to stop killings, abductions and forced disappearances.
“The news on killings and abductions does not seem new to us. Everyone is in fear for his life, but abduction has not stopped yet. In the newspapers, it was seen that three RAB officials were closed for their alleged involvement with Narayanganj murders. Through this, the government has acknowledged that the RAB was involved with the killings,” he said.
The BNP leader said people from all walks of life protested the killings and abductions. Even civil society members and common people also expressed their solidarity with the protesters, but no result had yet been seen.
“People and civil society members say the force was supposed to ensure the security of people and if that force endangers public life, then what is the necessity of that organisation,” he questioned.
When asked about whether his party wants the dissolution of the RAB, Fakhrul dodged the question and said, “BNP is the party of people. People’s voice is our voice.”
Responding to another query he said, “BNP will announce programme soon protesting the killings and abductions which will ease tension over such incidents. And the programme on the visit of Khaleda Zia along with the central leaders to Narayanganj will also be announced.”
About the RAB’s probe body on Narayanganj incident, he said, “People never get any good result from such investigation committee.”
He claimed that 287 people were killed and 25 abducted during the period between January 2013 and February 2014.
“We have collected the information through our party sources and then it was crosschecked. Even after that there might be some errors,” he said, urging the media to highlight the gravity of the killings and abductions, not the errors.
Later at a city hotel, the party briefed the diplomats of different countries, stationed in Dhaka, about the current political situation of the country.
Meeting sources said the party briefed the diplomats especially on the killings, abductions and forced disappearances.
A senior leader seeking anonymity told the Dhaka Tribune that they tried to send a message that though there is no political unrest in the country, but social unrest reached its peak. He also said the government could not control the law enforcement agencies and the administration.
Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury, vice-chairman of the party, told the Dhaka Tribune: “It is a regular meeting. We sat with the diplomats in different times. We discussed many things.”
Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, BNP chairperson’s advisers Reaz Rahman, Sabihuddin Ahmed and Osman Farruk, journalist Shafique Rehman and party’s international affairs secretary Asaduzzaman Ripon attended the meeting.
Representatives from the United States, the European Union, Russia, Canada, Australia, Japan, Norway and some other countries were present at the meeting.
Source: Dhaka Tribune