Rapid Action Battalion

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Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)
Agency overview
Formed 2004–present
Headquarters Kurmitola, Dhaka
Agency executive Mukhlesur Rahman, Additional IGP
Parent agency Bangladesh Police
Website http://www.rab.gov.bd

Rapid Action Battalion or RAB is an elite anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit of the Bangladesh Police. It consists of members of the Bangladesh Police, Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force, Border Guard Bangladesh and Bangladesh Ansar. It was formed on 26 March 2004, and commenced operations on 14 April 2004.

Since its inception, the RAB has seized a total of 3,149 illegal arms and more than 36,000 rounds of ammunition, and has made more than 500 arrests.[citation needed]

RAB members.

Rank Insignia[edit]

Because RAB is composed of officers and troops from Bangladesh Police and Bangladesh Armed Forces, it was necessary to attribute a common rank insignia to the RAB badges. Such insignia can be seen in the illustrations below.

Badges of Rank of RAB

Location[edit]

RAB also has 12 battalion size field units spread all over the country. Among them, 5 are located in the capital Dhaka. The units are located as follows:

Activities[edit]

Main activities and types of work done by RAB are:

Counter-Terrorism RAB apprehended numerous terrorism suspects during the course of their tenure.

Anti Drugs RAB has been involved in the control of illegal substances such as Yaba, Phensidyle and Heroin.

Emergency Help RAB provides immediate response for situations such as armed robbery and kidnappings.

National Common or annual needs Many national needs are filled by RAB by providing extra duty during Eid-ul-Fitr, Puja, world Ijtema and Akheri Munazat, among other events. They also contribute resources during elections, such as the Narayangonj City Corporation Election.

Notable arrests[edit]

The following is a table containing details of major arrests by the RAB according to their official website:[1]

Name Charge Arrest Source
Mufti Hannan Assassination attempt of the Leader of the Opposition and present Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Mufti Hannan was a top leader of Harkat-ul-Jihad 1 October 2005 [1]
Pichchi Hannan Terrorism 26 June 2004, later killed trying to escape [2]
Debashis Accomplice to Pichchi Hannan killed in crossfire, 24 June 2004 [3]
Mollah Shamim 10 cases including three murders killed in crossfire, 6 September 2004 [4]
Shaheb Ali Printing of Jihadi leaflets distributed during the 17 August 2005 Bombings 17 September 2005 [5]
Shahabuddin Extortion Killed 26 October 2004 [6]
Syed Monir Hossain Several criminal offences, including two murders killed in crossfire, 11 March 2005 [7]
Shahjahan 5 charges including murder, rape and robbery killed in crossfire, 12 January 2005 [8]
Rafiqul Islam Suicide squad member, Narayanganj JMB commander 27 December 2005 [9]
Sumon Ahmed Majumder Extortion killed "in crossfire" (see BBC article) [10]
Ekramul Haque Islamic Militancy December 2005 [11]
Hasibul 16 cases including 12 murder cases 26 January 2005, later killed attempting to escape [12]
Names Unknown Weapon Creators, Killed over 10 People Squadron Leader Sabbir Ahmed Khan and his friends caught the gang in May 2009 [13]

Controversy[edit]

Although the RAB has been successful in apprehending several high-profile terrorists, including the infamous Bangla Bhai, Human Rights Watch International has accused RAB of numerous deaths, which have been attributed to crossfire.[2][3] In March 2010, the battalion leader claimed 622 deaths were due to 'crossfire', while some human rights organisations claimed that more than 1,000 extrajudicial killings were the product of the battalion.[4] Further, there have been many reports of torture in connection with the battalion's activities.[5][6]

Limon Hossain, a college student at Jamaddarhat at Rajapur Upazila in Jhalakati, was shot at by RAB personnel near his house on March 23rd, 2011, triggering local and international outcry. His left leg had to be amputated as a result. The battalion filed two cases that day with the Rajapur police implicating Limon in an arms case and accusing him of obstructing police duties.[7] The government finally decided to withdraw the cases against Limon on July 9th, 2013, citing his need to return to a "healthy and normal life".[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]