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Rapid Action Battalion comes into being in a month

Thursday February 19 2004 03:08:37 AM BDT


A six-member high-profile team of Bangladesh Army led by Colonel Millat visited the proposed Head Quarter (HQ) of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) of police at the Bangladesh Secretariat and held an informal meeting with the present DC of RAT yesterday morning.

The newly-formed RAB, a sophisticated wing of police force, which replaces the present Rapid Action Team (RAT), would be pressed into service within a month to keep law and order under control all over the country, sources said.

RAB would work as a para-military force and comprise Police, Bangladesh Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Ansar personnel.

In a high-profile meeting at the Home Ministry, the government had decided that the HQ of the RAB would be located at the Secretariat, sources said.

According to sources, this would be the first time in Bangladesh that the Head-quarters of any law and order keeping force is being established inside the Secretariat.

Some 10 rooms of the Secretariat have been allocated for the HQ of RAB and the construction work is going on in full-fledge.

Additional Inspector General (Addl. IG) of Special Branch (SB) of police Anwarul Iqbal would be the Chief of the RAB, sources said.

When contacted, Anwarul Iqbal told The Independent that he had heard about this but was yet to get any official letter.

RAB would be introduced with seven battalions, comprising 5,272, all over the country.

The ratio of personnel of different forces in the RAB would be: Police- 40 percent, Army 40 percent and the rest 20 percent from Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Ansar, sources added.

The members of police in RAB are-one Addl IG, one DIG, 6 Addl DIGs, 57 Addl Superintendents of Police (SPs), nine Senior Addl SPs (ASPs), 175 ASPs, 514 Inspectors, 728 Sub Inspectors (SIs), 206 Sergeants, 283 ASIs, 558 Head Constables and rest.

RAB would operate from six separate divisions in the country where six divisional HQs would be established. An Addl DIG of police or a Lieutenant Colonel of Army would be the head of the divisional HQs, sources added.

According to sources concerned, other members of the RAB are- one Colonel, nine Lieutenant Colonels and three Addl DIGs of police.

When contacted, the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of RAT Mazharul Haq told The Independent that he was called to the Home Ministry yesterday morning to be introduced with the six-member team of Army who would be the members of RAB. “This was an informal meeting where I shared my opinion with the Army officials, who have joined the RAB,” DC of RAT added.

The status of the present DC of RAT in the RAB is unclear, sources said adding that the members of the present RAT are thus unhappy.

Earlier, Anwarul Iqbal was called to the Home Ministry on Monday to be introduced with other members of RAB but could not go because of his illness, sources said.


The Independent

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