Government Policy

PM slams sanctions on RAB, calling it ‘despicable’

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday came down heavily on the USA for imposing sanctions on RAB and some of its officials, calling it despicable.

“I think imposing sanctions (on RAB and some of its officials) after all their successes (containing militancy, drugs, pirates and terrorists) is despicable,” she said.

The prime minister was speaking at the 18th founding anniversary of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) at Shaheed Lt Col Azad Memorial Hall at Rab Forces Headquarters.

The PM joined it from her official residence Ganobhaban.

She said that Bangladesh law provides for punishing any member of a law enforcement agency who gets involved in any kind of crime.

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“But it’s a matter of regret that they imposed sanctions on some RAB members without any fault or cause. In their country they do not take any action against any member of their forces for their criminal activities,” she said.

In this connection, she mentioned that in the US, a child was shot dead just for putting his hands in his pockets (during a police check) and in another incident, a law enforcement agency member suffocated a person to death on the street.

“They did not get punished,” she said.

She said Bangladesh is the only country in the whole world where anyone (from the law enforcement agencies) involved in any crime must be punished.

“It is very much regrettable that those who attain successes in conducting drives against various types of criminals including militants, drugs, pirates and terrorists (got sanctioned),” she said.

She said that she does not know whether they (the US) are hurt by the successes achieved against these social menaces like militants, drugs, pirates and terrorists.

“I cannot say that, but Bangladesh registered success to contain militants, drugs, pirates and terrorists and it is true,” she asserted.

The prime minister said that the most regrettable thing is that some citizens of the country are engaged in making various types of moves including false propaganda against Bangladesh.

“All of them are criminals. They lost their jobs for some reason or left the country.”

She also criticized America for giving shelter to war criminals and killers of the Father of the Nation, mentioning that the US gave a convicted criminal citizenship.

Bangladesh is repeatedly requesting for them to be sent back and sent letters to American presidents and the Justice Department stating that they are criminals, killers, that they killed women and children.

“We told them you have to send them (war criminals and killers) back. They gave shelter to them, protecting the criminals. And imposed sanctions on some RAB officials without any crime,” she said.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan and RAB DG Chowdhury Abdullah Al-Mamun also spoke on the occasion.

The US Treasury Department last December slapped sanctions on RAB and seven of its serving and former officials for allegedly grave violation of human rights, triggering protests from Bangladesh.

Former RAB director general Benazir Ahmed, now the inspector general of police, is among the sanctioned officials.

The prime minister said that the prime task of the RAB is to save the lives and assets of mass people.

“Following laws and rules you have to act as the servants of people and discharge all duties given to you properly,” she told the elite force.

Referring to hoarding of essentials ahead of the month of Ramadan by some unscrupulous black marketers, she asked the RAB to remain vigilant against stockpiling of essentials.

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The PM instructed the RAB personnel to intensify the drives against illegal drugs to sustain the success to this end in line with the government’s “zero tolerance” policy.

She asked the RAB personnel to continue the drives until the menace is rooted out from the society.

Referring to influx of Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar and increasing trend of crimes there, she said the government plans to establish a full-fledged battalion of RAB in the district.

Hasina also inaugurated battalion headquarters of RAB 2, 10, 13 and 14, RAB Forces Training School, RAB Heritage Museum having a “Mujib Corner” while laying foundation stone of RAB-3 battalion headquarters, at the same function.

IGP Benazir Ahmed was present on the occasion.

A video documentary on the activities of the RAB and its success in contianing terrorism and militancy was also screened at the function.

Source: United News of Bangladesh