Bangladesh Home Minister
Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, who is now in India's New Delhi to attend an international ministerial conference on how to deal with terror financing, including legitimate and illegitimate funding routes, met his India counterpart Amit Shah on the sidelines of the event Friday. They discussed border management and common security-related issues, Public Security Division Senior Information Officer Md Sharif Mahmud Apu, who is part of the three-member Bangladesh delegation. India's Union Home Minister Amit said his country will provide all possible assistance to Bangladesh in repatriating the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals (Rohingya), Sharif added. The third ministerial "No Money for Terror" conference, organised by the Indian government in New Delhi on Friday and Saturday, is being attended by representatives of 76 countries to discuss terrorist financing and related issues. Home ministers of about 20 countries, including Russia, France, Australia, Indonesia, and Singapore are participating in the event. The topic for Bangladesh in the programme is terror financing through money transfer service schemes and hundi networks. Read more: Home minister in New Delhi to join international conference on terror financing
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal today said that reforms can be initiated after reviewing the US report on Rapid Action Battalion (Rab). He made the comment in response to reporters’ questions after a program in a Dhaka hotel. The home minister said, “Reforms – that you speak of – we are doing all the time. We are modernizing everything. We are doing what needs to be done.” Also read: No question of reforming Rab: DG “Rab is an elite force; we give them special tasks from time to time. Rab works according to its policy,” he said. Neither Rab, nor the police go unpunished if they commit punishable offence, the minister said. “Many police and Rab personnel are in jail. We are not exempting anyone,” he added. The home minister also said, “We are going over the US report. If there’s any mistake, I will definitely look into it.” Also read: “Extrajudicial killings down since US sanctions on RAB, a good sign” US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas, at a Dhaka event last Thursday, said that there has been no change in their position regarding the US sanction on Rab. Haas said the sanction will remain in place until accountability and reforms are ensured. On Saturday, newly-appointed Director General of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), M Khurshid Hossain, said that there was no question of reforming Rab, the elite force, which has been credited in dealing with militancy and serious crimes in recent years. “We are not doing anything for which reform is needed. We are working according to rules defined for us. We do not do anything in violation of law. In that case, there is no question of reforms,” he told reporters while paying tribute to the portrait of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in Dhanmondi-32. Read Rab established itself as a role model, says its outgoing DG “Sanctions have been imposed, and the government has replied to that through official channel. This is not a challenge (for us),” he said, adding that the elite force would continue to play its role by maintaining law and order and tackling militancy, terrorism and drug.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal today said that well-off individuals as well as journalists and police are also involved in drug trade, and they too face justice without exception. The minister made the remark while speaking at a roundtable meeting in Dhaka’s CIRDAP auditorium. “In prison, you will find police, Rab personnel along with businessmen in narcotic cases. Law is not different for policemen,” he said. Also read: “Govt, law enforcement alone can’t eradicate drugs, need help from all” Regarding dope test, the home minister said police are going under dope tests and if results are positive, they are being suspended. “We have taken a strict position in this regard,” he said. He said dope test during initial selection for jobs will be introduced. “It is said that doctors are the ones who are mostly into drug abuse but I have no idea about this. Doctors, engineers, journalists – anyone of us can take drugs, as there are misguided people in every profession,” he added. Also read: 44 arrested in DMP anti-drugs drive To curb drug abuse, the government is not only running newspaper supplements but also producing short TVCs – generating awareness, increasing manpower and capacity of Narcotics Control Directorate in every district and setting up labs, he said. Asaduzzaman said the capacity of jails in Bangladesh is more than 41,000 and it will be increased soon. But there are more than 80 lakh inmates and 60 percent of them are drug peddlers, he said. “There is long backlog of cases, and a separate special tribunal for drugs cases is needed. If the punishment becomes more visible, both supply and demand of drugs will decline,” he said. Read Bangladesh gets drug, precursor test kits from Japan through UNODC There are 6 to 7 million drug addicts in Bangladesh, for whom no quality hospital is available, he said. “Our drug addiction treatment centers do not have experienced doctors or psychiatrists. No one from upper and middle-class goes to the drug treatment center in Tejgaon,” said the home minister. He assured that government will support the establishment of drug addiction treatment centers in Bangladesh through the private sector. Read Drug peddler held with yaba pills in Dhaka
Saying drugs are coming from neighbouring countries, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan today (September 13, 2022) explained that government and law enforcement alone cannot eradicate drugs and sought help from all sections of society. The minister was talking to reporters after inaugurating the Rajshahi Police Liberation War Memorial Museum in Rajshahi Police Lines. The home minister also said that presence of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) along Myanmar border has been strengthened. Read: Warned Myanmar against firing shots towards Bangladesh, says Home Minister “Myanmar government is at war with the Arakan Army, and that’s why a few mortar shells landed on the Bangladeshi side recently. Foreign Ministry has protested the incident. We have strengthened BGB forces patrolling along the Myanmar border, and it is expected that firing in the border area will end soon,” he said. Earlier, on September 10, Asaduzzaman said that the government has asked Myanmar to refrain from firing shots towards the Bangladesh border. Replying to a question over the attack on journalists at Rajshahi Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) office, the minister said, “Those who were involved in the incident will be brought to book. No one will be spared in this connection.” Read: Bangladesh wants discussion to avert border tension with Myanmar: Foreign Secretary Noting the contribution of police during the Liberation War in Rajshahi region, the minister said the museum was built to conserve their memories. Bangladesh will never forget their contributions, he added. Later, Asaduzzaman also unveiled a book titled ‘Muktijuddhe Rajshahi Police’ and joined in an anti-narcotic and anti-terrorism discussion.
Installation of CCTV cameras have been made compulsory at all puja mandaps ahead of Durga Puja to ensure security, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said. Durga puja will be celebrated across the country from October 1 to October 5 and this year there will be 32,168 Puja mandaps across the country, he said while talking to reporters after a meeting held at the Secretariat over law and order situation for ensuring smooth celebration of Durga Puja. Talking over the security arrangement, Asaduzzaman, said, “We have taken decisions to ensure security at the puja mandap and additional forces of law enforcement agencies will be deployed as per necessary.” Also read: Shahjahanpur murders: Perpetrators not to be spared Besides, Durga Puja organisers have been told to deploy volunteers to ensure security. The authorities concerned have been asked to provide wristbands to volunteers with which police can identify them. Ansar members will be deployed and arrangements will be taken for them. Replying to a question about untoward incidents that happened in Cumilla last year, during Durga Puja, the minister said, “If we think that there is a need to take special security measures then we’ll definitely go for it. Security personnel will patrol the big mandaps.” Read The struggle for Bangladesh's secular soul Besides, the patrolling team will also take steps to prevent stalking, drug use and any untoward incident at the mandaps, he said. People have been asked to make emergency phone calls to 999 to avail any kind of services from the law enforcement agencies, he added. Referring to the traffic congestion, Asaduzzaman, said steps will be taken to ensure smooth traffic management and a team will keep monitoring social media and rumours, and take action. Read No doubt govt behind communal violence: Fakhrul He also urged the authorities concerned to arrange two gates for female and male visitors.