Govt investigation proves RAB responsible for Extra Judicial Killings - Arif died from torture, Bappi from direct firing!
|Kaiser Mahmud Bappi (Left) and Mohiuddin Alamgir (Right)|
In the last week of January of this year, Md Mohiuddin Arif was arrested by members of RAB - 4 from Pallabi in Mirpur, as a suspect in an under investigation case. According to Home Ministry Investigating Committee, an analysis of available evidences clearly showed that the RAB and Police kept Mohiuddin in their custody for long 46 hours in breach of the law, and mercilessly tortured him. He died as a result of these physical tortures. Police also tortured him at the Pallabi Police Station. The Investigating Committee recommended that the persons connected with the killing of Mohiuddin Arif should be brought under legal action.
The Committee in its report recommended that to avoid the occurrence of pathetic incidents, it is essential to ensure the appointment of such officers of the Law and Order Force who have long experiences on the job as leaders. In addition, the Controlling Authority should be aware that no RAB, working at the field level, can ever engage in extra judicial behavior and/or activity. Secondly, the act of taking citizens into custody by plain-clothed unarmed RAB members performing detective-duty, for the purpose of questioning, must be stopped. Thirdly, in every case, the laid-down process of questioning of a person, arrested on the basis of any complaint, must be followed. The Investigative Committee also recommends the ensuring of good treatment of an accused or an under-trial prisoner by making available necessary medicines and medical equipments as and when required side by side with ensuring proper behavior of hospital and jail-authorities with the accused or an under-trial prisoner. Investigative Committee's firm realization is that in order to ensure peoples' confidence on RAB activities, side by side with adequate publicity of their actions, if any RAB-member causes any harm, illegal attack or hampers some constitutional rights of a citizen is any way, then the accused should be given exemplary punishment through legal means.
The plain-clothed RAB-members who had arrested Mohiuddin are: Sergeant Biswanath Rai, Lance Naik Atikur Rahman and Constable Md Babul Akhtar. The report mentioned that the injury in the finger-nails of Md Mohiuddin was caused by a glass by Pallabi PS Officer Incharge Md Iqbal Hossain but the rest of the injury in his body, according to the statements of other two accused, was evidently caused by the RAB.
The Medical Officer put the cause of death in the post mortem report as - "(In my opinion, the cause of death was) due to shock resulting from above-mentioned injuries which were ante-mortem and homicidal in nature and caused by a blunt weapon." The RAB members in their statements said during the arrest as accused Mohiuddin Arif tried to flee, he fell down on the pitch road in the ensuing scuffle with RAB members as they tried to catch him and badly wound his knee. But according to the doctor, in Arif's body the open wound was not only in his knee. There were wounds caused from rubbing on the front side of both his legs below the knees covering an area of 10''X 0.5''-1''. The Investigating Committee questions the possibility of such big wounds caused from falling down on the pitch road as a result of scuffle with RAB members.
On the other hand, the killing operation of Kaiser Mahmud Bappi comprised RAB-1 ASP Sarkar Omar Faruk, Sergeant Md Abdul Hannan, Lance Corporal Md Azam Khan, soldier Pikul Biswas, Sergeant Md Kazimuddin, ASI Khan Maruful Islam, ASI Md Rokunuddin, Corporal Md Khasru Mian, and Naik Md Mizanur Rahman. According to RAB's statement: "As soon as RAB force reached the crime spot, following the receipt of secret information and order of higher authority, the terrorists suddenly started to spray bullets at them. These bullets hit ASI Rokunuddin on his right leg and seriously injured him. The RAB members fired back at them to save their lives, safeguard government property and rescue illegal arms and ammunition. After about 20 minutes shoot-out, one of the terrorists was hit by a bullet fired from one of his armed associate terrorist's gun and died on the spot. There are cases filed against terrorist Bappi in various police stations. Terrorist Masud Mian was caught with one locally-made one barrel gun and one cartridge while accused Abid Hasan was caught with three cartridges from the crime spot. Dead Bappi had one locally made revolver in his right hand."
A recent human rights watchdog 'Odhikar' report (Link: http://www.odhikar.org/press.html) says that on an average every three days one person is reportedly killed extra judicially. Following are the some of the incidents mentioned in the 'Odhikar Report':
During the period of January – September 2010, 90 people were reportedly killed extra-judicially. It has been further alleged that of these people, 40 were killed by RAB, 33 by Police, 08 persons were killed by the joint operation of RAB and police, 03 were killed by the RAB- Coast guard jointly, 05 persons were killed by the operations of RAB- Police- Coast guard and 01 person was killed by BDR.
On May 28, 2010, Law Minister Shafique Ahmed claimed that crossfire killings have stopped. 'No more crossfire incidents are taking place in the country. It has stopped'. On July 8, 2010, he further said, "Action will be taken against the perpetrators if any further incident of extrajudicial killing occurs."
It should be noted that following the crossfire killings of two brothers Lutfor Khalashi and Khairul Khalashi from Madaripur on November 15, 2009, a bench of the High Court Division, consisting of Justice A F M Abdur Rahman and Justice Imdadul Huq Azad, issued a suo motu Rule on the Government. The High Court Division asked the Government as to why the High Court Division should not declare the crossfire killings of the two brothers illegal. When the Government prayed for time on the date of hearing on December 14, 2009, the Bench issued a direction to stop crossfire killings until the Rule was disposed of. Later on when the Chief Justice reconstituted the concerned Bench, the hearing of the Rule issued did not happen.
In the early morning on July 1, 2010, a businessman named Mizanur Rahman died in police custody at Gulshan Police Station. Taslima Begum, his wife, alleged that police picked up Mizanur Rahman on June 29, 2010 from the Nayanagar area in Baridhara in the city. After that, police demanded Taka one hundred thousand from her. Police allegedly shot and killed her husband upon failure to realise that money.
On July 3, 2010, some plain-clothes police of the Darus Salam Police Station at Mirpur allegedly picked up one person named Mojibar. His body was recovered from the Turag river the next day. It has been learnt that Mojibar's 7-year old son Iqbal was with him when Mojibar was picked up and beaten by police.