The director-general of the RAB, Hasan Mahmud Khandakar, addressing the media at the sixth anniversary of the elite law enforcement body in its headquarters on Sunday, told newsmen, ‘A total of 622 suspected criminals were killed in by the RAB in crossfire across the country in the last six years, including 14 suspected criminals who were killed in the last three months.’ The RAB chief, however, claimed that no extra-judicial killing was carried out by the battalion’s personnel in the last six years.
But it should be mensioned that on december 10, 2009 in a press briefing on the existing law and order situation at the Rab headquarters Rab Director General (DG) Hassan Mahmood Khandker disclosed the figure was 633. In that press confarence he said "since the formation of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) in 2004, a total of 633 persons were killed in 'encounters' with its members while 750 Rab men were punished for their 'unlawful' acts."
However, various human right watchdogs claimed that 1,142 victims have so far been slain in extrajudicial killings since 24 June, 2004 when the RAB began its journey by killing people in ‘crossfire.’ Among the 1,142 victims, 149 were killed in 2004, 340 in 2005, 290 in 2006, 130 in 2007, 136 in 2008 and 97 in 2009. During the immediate-past emergency regime which continued for about two years, 322 people were killed in an extrajudicial manner.
The DG claimed that 6,931 firearms have been seized by the RAB in the last six years — 580 in 2004, 909 in 2005, 889 in 2006, 1,416 in 2007, 1,374 in 2008, 1,338 in 2009 and 425 in the last three months.
The RAB arrested a total of 64,664 suspected criminals, after conducting drives throughout the country, on charges of various crimes including murder, kidnapping, extortion, tender manipulation, militancy and possession of illegal firearms. Of them 2569 in 2004, 4929 in 2005, 7277 in 2006, 13569 in 2007, 13378 in 2008, 16730 in 2009 and 4012 in last three months of 2010.
Light to stern punitive action was taken against more than 800 officers and personnel of the RAB till 28 March, 2010 on various charges. In the last six years 400 RAB personnel were given the maximum punishment including imprisonment and dismissal.
The DG claimed that the RAB had managed to curb militancy across the country and had kept the law and order situation under control. ‘We hope we will discharge our duties efficiently in the future and maintain our reputation as the country’s elite law enforcement force.’