Rapid Action Battalion
Reason behind Gulistan blast to be known after examining samples: Rab director
The cause behind the explosion in the 5-storey Gulistan building will be known after examining the samples collected from the site, said Major Morshed Alam, director of bomb disposal unit of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab). “Primary samples were collected from the blast site and sent to laboratory for test and the actual reason behind the explosion could be known after examining the samples,” he said. “We entered the damaged building carefully and it appeared that it is not an incident of fire, it’s an explosion. The level of explosion was huge,”Major Morshed said. There might be multiple reasons including leakage of gas pipeline behind the blast and there is a little possibility of air conditioner blast, he said. Besides, a dog squad team is working there to check whether there is any existence of human alive or dead inside the building, said Morshed. Also read: Gulistan blast: Rescue operation begins for the second day Earlier, at least 17 people were killed and over 100 others injured in a massive explosion in a 5-storey building near a BRTC bus counter in the capital’s Gulistan area. Among the injured, 11 people have been undergoing treatment at the Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery. Three firefighting units resumed the rescue operation around 9 am, said Khaleda Yeasmin, duty officer of the Fire Service Control Room, around 11 am. A four-member probe body headed by Lt Col Mohammad Tajul Islam Chowdhury, director of Fire Service and Civil Defense (Operation and maintenance), has been formed to look into the explosion . The committee has been asked to submit its report within five working days, said Shahjahan Sikder, Deputy Additional Director of Fire service and Civil Defense headquarters media cell. END/UNB/MJ-MAS/FH
2 HuJI-B members held in city
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) detained two members of banned extremist outfit Harkat-ul-Jihad Bangladesh (HuJI-B) from the capital's Malibagh on Monday. The detainees were identified as Abdul Kuddus, 57, son of Amir Ali Molla and Sirajul Islam alias Salauddin, 35, son of Sekendar Molla of Jashore district. Tipped off that a group of militants were holding clandestine meeting, a team of Rab-3 conducted a drive in the area on Sunday night and arrested them, said a press release of Rab. Abdul Kuddus was the regional and central coordinator of Jashore district unit HuJI-B. He was also served in jail for 10 years and two months in a case filed with Jhenaidah Sadar Police Station in 2007, said the press release. Also read: Fugitive convict arrested after 13 years: RAB After releasing from jail in 2018, Kuddus got involved in the organizing activities of HuJI-B and he also succeed in making a strong militant organisation by 2022, it said. Besides, Sirajul used to work as a security guard of Jashore Cold Storage since 2001 and joined as a member of the militant group in 2001. Sirajul was the main recruiter of Jashore district HuJI-B and served at the economic branch of the organisation. He used to work as a painter and in guise of painter he conducts all necessary intelligence surveillance. In 2010, a case under Explosive Act was filed against him with Jashore Kotwali Police Station and police arrested him in 2011. In 2012, he secured bail from the case and since then he conducted his activities.
Diplomatic efforts are in place, but it may take time, Momen tells JS about sanction on RAB
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Thursday told Parliament that diplomatic efforts are on track to deal with the United States regarding sanction on the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), but he acknowledged that the matter is a political issue, which may follow a protracted process. "Lifting the sanction from RAB is a long-term process. Since the matter of imposing the sanction on RAB is a political issue, strong diplomatic efforts are being made to solve the matter since the beginning (immediately after imposition of the sanction)," he said. Read more: No discussion on RAB reforms with US: Home Minister The Foreign Minister made the statement while replying to a starred question from opposition Jatiya Party lawmaker Md Mujibul Haque (Chunnu). In a scripted answer, Dr Momen said the Foreign Ministry and other ministries, divisions or government agencies are jointly working to lift this sanction and ensure that such sanction would not come anymore in the future. The Bangladesh Embassy stationed in Washington DC maintains contact with the US State Department regularly, he said, adding that the Foreign Ministry takes steps instantly following the recommendation of the Bangladesh Embassy. Read more: Rab made ‘tremendous progress’ in ‘respecting rights’ while performing duties: Donald Lu observes Citing different steps taken by the government for withdrawal of the existing sanctions, he said that the sanction issue was also discussed in meetings with US Assistant Secretary Donald Lu during his recent visit to Bangladesh. Dr Momen said Donald Lu now praised the activities of RAB. "The Foreign Ministry and Bangladesh Embassy stationed in Washington DC together with a legal assistance firm continue strong diplomatic efforts over the withdrawal of the sanction," he said.
2 ‘militants’ arrested from Kutupalong Rohingya camp after 'gunfight’, Rab says
Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) today (January 23, 2023) arrested two suspected members of new militant group 'Jamatul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya' after a gunfight at Kutupalong Rohingya camp in Ukhia upazila of Cox's Bazar. The arrestees were identified as Ronobir, a Shura member and head of the armed wing of the militant group, and his associate Bashar, a bomb-making expert. Read more: 12 militants, 14 KNF members arrested so far in anti-militancy drive in Bandarban: RAB A team of Rab-15 conducted a drive in Kutupalong Rohingya camp this morning, said ASP Abu Salam Chowdhury from Cox's Bazar Rab-15. Sensing the presence of law enforcers, the militants opened fire on them, forcing the Rab personnel to fire back, he added. Rab arrested the duo along with arms and explosives from a den in the camp following the gunfight. Details will be revealed at a press briefing at Ukhiya Rohingya camp area, the officer said. Read more: 3 ‘members of new militant outfit’ held with arms, explosives in Bandarban
Madrasa teacher arrested for rape in Dhaka
Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) members have arrested a madrasa teacher in a rape case from Ramna area in the capital. The accused was Md. Alamgir Mollah, 28, a teacher at Malibagh Tamimul Quran Madrasah. Lt. Col. Arif Mohiuddin Ahmed, commanding officer of RAB-3, said that a rape case was filed against Alamgir at Rampura police station on Tuesday. “He kept changing his location after the case was filed,” he said. Read more: 45-yr-old man arrested for raping minor girl in Chattogram Alamgir has been teaching at the madrasah for the past three months and the rape survivor lives near the madrasa. She filed a case under the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act, he added. Read more: Man arrested for raping minor girl after abduction in Ctg
26 members of new militant group ‘Jamatul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya' held so far: Rab
With the arrest of four more members of 'Jamatul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya' from Laksham upazila in Cumilla, 26 members of the new militant outfit have been arrested so far, said Rapid Action Battalion (Rab). Commander Khandaker Al Moin, director of Rab’s legal and Media Wing, revealed the information while briefing the media on Friday in Dhaka’s Karwan Bazar over the arrest. Recently they arrested four militants -Md Abdul Kader, 24, Md Ismail Hossain,22, Muntasir Ahmmed alias Bacchu,23, and Helal Ahmed Zakaria, 33, he said. Read more:Rab intensifies anti-militancy drive in CHT, 10 arrested Tipped-off, they were arrested during a drive conducted by Rab-11 and Detective Branch in Laksham on Thursday night. The elite force also seized some leaflets, books on radical views from the arrestees, Commander Khandaker Al Moin said. During interrogation they confessed to planning sabotages in different places across the country, said Moin. They gave concrete information about six council or Shura members of the militant group including its amir (head) Mahmud, he said. The arrestees also disclosed that the militant group had an agreement with separatist group Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF) to provide them shelter and training in exchange of money, he added. “The militant group has provided Tk 17 lakh to KNF to buy arms to train up their members. They gets fund to serve their purposes from different sources,” said the Rab official. In 2019, ‘Jamatul Ansar fil Hindal Sharqiya’ (Jamatul Ansar of Eastern Hind) was formed. Some leaders and activists of different levels of banned militant groups of Bangladesh including Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), Ansar Al Islam and Harkat-ul-Jihad-al Islami Bangladesh (HuJI-B), joined together to start the activities of this radical militant group, said the Rab official. Read more:Militants’ involvement with CHT’s KNF group being investigated: Home Minister On Oct 21, the elite force said they arrested 10 people including seven members of the newly launched militant outfit and three members of KNF from Bandarban and Rangamati. In 2021, the Amir of Jamatul Ansar fil Hindal Sharqiya had an agreement with the CHT-based armed group KNF regarding militant training in the area till next year, sad Rab. As per the agreement, Tk 3 lakh per month and food expenses of all KNF members were to be borne, according to Rab. Earlier, on October 10, five men, including three youths, who apparently left home to join militant groups have been arrested by the Rab members from the capital's Jatrabari and Keraniganj. On August 23, eight youths from Cumilla sadar upazila went missing and a general diary was lodged with police in this regard after two days. The incident sparked a huge sensation across media and social media and Rab started an investigation to rescue the victims and arrest the accused. On September 1, one of the missing youths, Shartaz Islam Niloy, 22, returned home. On October 6, Rab arrested seven people including four missing youths for involvement with a militant group from a drive conducted in Munshiganj, Naryanganj and Mymensingh following the information collected from questioning Niloy. On interrogation, the arrestees revealed that initially the members of the organization used to target youths from different parts of the country, including Cumilla.
Rab arrests 7 including 4 with suspected ties to radical groups
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) has arrested seven people, including four who went missing from their homes in Cumilla and elsewhere with suspected ties to radical groups, during raids in and around Dhaka. The arrestees were identified as: Hossain Ahmed, 33, son of Maulana Abu Taher, Nesar Uddin alias Umayer, 34, son of Matier Rahman, Bani Amin, 27, son of Delwar Hossain, and Md Sabit, 19, son of Hasan Mir — all from Patuakhali district; Imtiaz Ahmed rifat, 19, son of Foyez Ahmed, and Hasibul Islam, 20, son of Shahab Uddin from Cumilla; and Roman Shikdar, 24, son of Anis Shikdar of Gopalganj. Tipped off, a team of Rab-11 conducted separate drives in Munshiganj, Narayanganj and Mymensingh districts and arrested them. Also read: 7 young men missing from Cumilla since Aug 23 The elite force also seized some leaflets, books on radical views and a tab from the arrestees, said Commander Khandaker Al Moin, director of Rab’s legal and Media Wing, while briefing reporters in Dhaka’s Karwan Bazar. “Among the eight young men missing from Cumilla, Sartaz Islam Niloy, 22, returned to his Kalyanpur home on Septmeber 1 and later Rab took him into custody. Following interrogation, Rab came to know details on others,” he said. “Four students left their homes to join the new militant group ‘Jamatul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharkia’, formed by banned militant groups Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), Ansar Al Islam and Harkat-ul-Jihad-al Islami Bangladesh (HuJI-B),” he added. They were trained in char areas in Bhola and Patuakhali districts and so far 15-20 people have joined the new group, said Moin. Seven students, aged 17-25, belonging to different institutions in Cumilla have been missing since August 23. They all knew each other, and left home without their mobile phones. A general diary was lodged with Kotwali Model Police in this regard. After that, reports came to light of seven more youths missing from Patuakhali, Dhaka, Narayanganj and Gopalganj for two to three months under similar circumstances. Besides, four youths from Sylhet have been missing since 15 November last year.
Home Minister: Reforms can be initiated after reviewing US report on Rab
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.
No question of reforming Rab: DG
Newly-appointed Director General of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) M Khurshid Hossain said on Saturday that there was no question of reforming the anti-crime elite force, which has been credited in dealing with militancy and serious crimes in recent years. “Personally, I don’t see any question of any reforms. We are not doing anything for what it needs to be reformed. 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. “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. Read:Momen in NY: No specific info given by US on Rab sanctions The DG’s statement came in response to recent comment by US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas that there was no change in US policy on Rab and sanctions on the agency would continue until there has been accountability and reform after human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, accused the force of violating human rights. The elite anti-crime force has been blamed for a number of enforced disappearances and so-called cross-fire incidents, but the agency refuted all the allegations. The US envoy made the comment on Thursday (September 29) in a discussion organised by “Centre for Governance Studies” and German think tank “Friedrich Ebert Stiftung” in Dhaka. Read “RAB freed Sundarbans from robbers and inspired a quality film” Haas had said the sanctions imposed by the US against RAB and seven of its former and current officials were not intended to punish them, but to change the behaviour and hold them accountable. “We are looking for accountability for past incidents,” said the US ambassador.
Momen in NY: No specific info given by US on Rab sanctions
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has said the US government provided no specific information to Bangladesh about putting sanctions on Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), and some of its top current and former officials. He said this in reply to a question during a media briefing on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s programmes during the 77th UNGA in New York on Tuesday. Read:Myanmar’s shelling inside Bangladesh “unintentional mistake”, Momen says in NY The foreign minister said that the Bangladesh government repeatedly sought information on the sanctions the US imposed on Rab and its current, former officials last December for alleged rights abuse. “Still, they have not given any correct and specific information. So, we do not know. Besides, the US has a habit of imposing sanctions on different countries,” he said. Read: Momen, Canadian High Commissioner welcome formation of CBAA The minister praised Rab for combating terrorism in the country. In this regard, he said there has been no terrorist incident in the country after the Holey Artisan attack on July 1, 2016. “That was the last one,” he added, He also said that PM Hasina demonstrates zero tolerance towards terrorism. Read US sanctions outcome of USD 100 million project: IGP