AL calls Rab killing force, demands its disbandment |
The main opposition Awami League (AL) yesterday demanded disbandment of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), terming it a 'killing force'.
Pointing to frequent killings under Rab custody in the name of 'crossfire', the AL leaders also demanded punishment of the Rab members and those who raised the force for violating human rights.
The AL leaders at a news conference at the party's Dhanmondi office expressed their apprehension that the government may indemnify the Rab against the killings.
They inferred the opinion from the indemnification of the armed forces for killing over 50 people during the Operation Clean Heart.
"The Rab cannot be a law enforcing agency. This is a killing force and violator of human rights," said AL presidium member Suranjit Sengupta.
The AL held the conference to protest reported torture of two teenage brothers under the Rab custody for their confessional statements on the August 21 carnage. The Rab reportedly detained the boys in an unknown place for four days.
AL General Secretary Abdul Jalil said the government itself has become a weapon of torture and violator of constitutional rights of the people.
Asked whether the AL will take legal action challenging the Rab activities and against its members, Jalil said, "We'll take the right decision in time."
Suranjit said, "The Rab has killed dozens of people in the name of crossfire. This is simply murder as these people were killed without any trial. That is why we demand the government disband the Rab.
"How can it be 'crossfire' since there is no evidence of the Rab's being shot at," he said, asking, "Is crossfire a one-way shooting?" I'm quite sure the government will go to parliament to indemnify the killings under Rab custody," he added.
He firmly said the Rab and those who have created it will have to face trial for custodial deaths and torture.
Jalil said the Rab tried to force the boys confess that they had hurled grenades at the rally at the directive of some AL leaders. One was released after four days and his younger brother sent to jail after spending 11 days in the RAB custody, he added.
Demanding compensation to them, he said, "They were subjected to heinous methods of physical torture including electric shocks."
On their identity, the AL leader said, "We're not mentioning their names for security reason. They may fall victim to crossfire."
Accusing the government of involvement in the grenade attack, Jalil demanded interrogation of the prime minister's son Tarique Rahman and brother Sayeed Iskander.
He reiterated the AL demand for the name the foreign force, as claimed by the judicial commission chief and the prime minister, involved in the attack.
AL leaders Akhtaruzzaman, Mostafa Jalal Mohiuddin, BM Mozammel and President of Sechchha Sebak League Bahauddin Nasim were present.