Amid huge criticism over extrajudicial killings for long, Rapid Action Battalion just completed another year of its journey on Sunday with better performance in combating crimes.
Between March 2016 and March 21 this year, the elite force saw a wave of success, especially against militants, human traffickers, forest bandits and pirates.
In the latest success story to stop people-smuggling, RAB in association with Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (Baira) organised a national conference in Dhaka on March 11.
At the event, RAB for the first time ever managed to bring all the stakeholders, including other law enforcing agencies and several rights groups, working for safe migration in the country at under one roof.
RAB then also set maiden example of helping compensate human trafficking victims, especially the females, from Baira. Ten victims got Tk1 lakh each.
Tuhin Mohammad Masud, commanding officer of RAB-3, termed Baira realising its responsibility to compensate and rehabilitate the trafficking victims the best part of the programme.
According to RAB, 128 people linked to the crime were arrested with 21 victims rescued in 2016. Ever since its inception, 327 people in total were booked in this act while the rescued women and girls numbered 220.
Its role against forest robbery in the last one year also picks a significant spot on the success list.
RAB has been carrying out an intensified clampdown on the crime rackets, forcing many a gang to surrender and that too along with arms over the same period.
It also took an extreme hard line against militants, mainly after the July 1 Gulshan cafe attack that had left 20 people, mostly foreigners, dead.
RAB sources said they intensified their raids against militants in the wake of the henious attack, the first of its kind in country. It also launched a mobile app “ Report 2 RAB” to help contain militant acts.
Until March 24, RAB arrested some 30 militants including 24 JMB members, compared to 64 arrests a year ago.
Some 1261 militants from 15 banned groups including Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (674), Harkat-ul Jihad al-Islami Bangladesh (104), Hizb ut-Tahrir (247) and Hizb-ut Tawhid(144) were arrested by RAB in its 13 years of operation.
RAB Legal and Media Wing chief Mufti Mahmud Khan said they feel the success when people approach to them first looking for a solution of their problem.
He said the force will continue its all-out efforts to prevent crimes and terrorism.
Home Secretary Dr. Kamal Uddin Ahmed said RAB is doing its duty in the expected way, though it was formed as merely a strike force.
“RAB is helping plug the loopholes of regular policing,” he observed.