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Monday, June 30, 2008
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Cloth trader accuses Rab of 'putting him in crossfire'

Rab terms him 'criminal'

A cloth trader undergoing treatment in Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) after being injured with bullet wounds alleged that Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel attempted to kill him by 'putting him in crossfire'.

Rab-10 officials however said Mohammad Babul is a listed criminal who was injured with the bullet wounds in a gunfight between his accomplices and Rab while early on Friday he was being transported for showing the elite battalion a spot from where they would be able to recover illegal firearms.

Rab alleged that Babul is one of the members of a muggers' gang which snatched Tk 24 lakh from three businessmen in Lalbagh of the capital a couple of months ago.

Hailing from Aganagar in South Keraniganj Babul told The Daily Star on Saturday night, "Rab men arrested me from Keraniganj on Wednesday and took me to Dhalpur camp of Rab-10."

"Although I was not involved in the Tk 24 lakh snatching in Lalbagh, the Rab men tortured me to extract a false confession," he said adding, "As I refused to give a false confession, they blindfolded me and took me to an unknown place to put me in a crossfire."

"After we reached the destination, the Rab men started beating me again and stamped on me with boots on, then they fired two shots into my right knee trying to make me confess," Babul went on adding, "Although while we were going to the spot in a Rab vehicle they threatened to kill me in a crossfire if I wouldn't confess, after we reached the spot and I was lying down on a field there, they told me that they would shoot into my leg instead."

The Rab personnel also fired several blank shots and shouted out mock cries of pursuing a fleeing criminal, Babul claimed.

He however admitted to The Daily Star that there are some cases against him filed with Kotwali police accusing him of cheating his clients.

Flt Lt Mostofa Humayun Kabir, who is in charge of the media wing of Rab-10, told The Daily Star, "Babul is a listed armed criminal and accused in a case for snatching Tk 24 lakh two months ago."

"Babul was being transported to recover firearms as he had admitted to having knowledge of them, and during the operation at the Lalbagh dam, his accomplices fired at Rab men, prompting Rab personnel to retaliate with gunshots leading to a gun battle. At one stage, Babul was hit by bullets while his accomplices fled the scene."

Later, Lalbagh police rushed Babul to Mitford Hospital from the spot.

Nobo Jyoti Khisa, officer-in-charge (OC) of Lalbagh police station, said Babul is a veteran criminal and police rushed to the spot hearing gun shots.

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