Police have recovered from them a cache of drugs, especially sexual stimulating drugs, which under the Bangladeshi law are banned.
Keraniganj police on Friday filed a narcotics case against 28 people who were arrested from a gathering, which the arresting agency Rapid Action Battalion termed “a homosexual party,” at a community centre in the area.
Homosexuality itself is a criminal offence in Muslim-majority Bangladesh, where the highest punishment for “unnatural intercourse” is life imprisonment.
When the Dhaka Tribune got in touch with the elite force to seek an explanation for this, RAB 10 Commanding Officer Md Jahangir Hossain Matubbar said: “The detainees must be engaged in direct intercourse while being detained or we [the law enforcement agencies] would require strong evidence of intercourse to file a case under Section 377 in the Bangladesh Penal code [the section on what is considered unnatural intercourse].
“Since we neither have such evidence nor were they [the 28 detainees] arrested while having intercourse, as per the law, we are unable file a case under the provision.
“However, police have recovered a cache of drugs, especially sexual stimulating drugs, which under the Bangladeshi law are banned.”
Heavily criticising this move, Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua, a known human rights expert, told the Dhaka Tribune that law enforcement agencies should address any arrested parties for what they were arrested for, not for something else.
“I don’t understand why RAB let the story get out in one way and now they are trying to pin them in a different way.”
“If those boys were nabbed with narcotics, the law enforcement agencies should have highlighted that first. The earlier claims RAB made now looks like just an assumption, nothing more.”