Vol. 5 Num 392 Mon. July 04, 2005  
Front Page

Rab crossfire a 'State-sponsored crime'
Speakers say in book launching

The 'crossfire' by Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) in the name of curbing 'terrorism' itself is 'a state-approved act of terrorism', said speakers at a book launching ceremony in the city yesterday.

"Such activities [of Rab] are making the nation deviate from the values embodied in our constitution," former Justice Golam Rabbani yesterday said while unveiling the cover of 'Rab: Santrash Nirmul Na Rashtrer Santrash (Curbing terrorism or State-run terrorism) at the VIP lounge of National Press Club.

The book published by Ain-O-Salish Kendra (ASK) is mainly a compilation of essays by different persons, expressing concern over 'extrajudicial killings by Rab'.

It also contains investigative reports, newspaper-clippings, and statistics for the number of victims, and relevant laws and amendments.

Meanwhile, some100 people from different districts gathered in front of the press club yesterday. They demonstrated in favour of Rab and its activities while the publication ceremony was going on inside the press club.

The demonstrators entered the club as well, and spoke at the programme glorifying the Rab activities. They termed the incidents of 'crossfire' self-defence.

Claiming themselves to be victims of crime, they blamed the human rights organisations for raising voice against the crime-busting force.

ASK Executive Director Sultana Kamal described the deaths in 'crossfire' as murders.

"We can cite names of at least seven people, who we found by investigation that were not killed in crossfire, rather were murdered by Rab," Sultana Kamal told reporters.

Advocate Ruhul Kuddus Babu said there are loopholes in the act under which Rab was formed and operates.

Abdul Hakim, the father of Sumon [of Goran], who was killed allegedly by Rab, spoke at the programme. He narrated the tragic end of his son and demanded punishment of the killers.

Monir Ahmed Majumder, father of Sumon Ahmed Majumdar of Tongi, was also present. Sumon, who was a key witness to the murder of Ahsanullah Master MP, died at a hospital allegedly after torture in Rab custody.