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Protectors turn predators

RAB arrests 6, including cop, ex-army man

Iqbal Mahmud

The Rapid Action Battalion on Saturday arrested four people, including a policeman and a former army soldier, for their alleged involvement in an incident of abduction in Savar.
The RAB also arrested the man the gang had abducted during the operation, on charge of smuggling of gold and foreign currencies. Following their confessions, the battalion arrested the alleged leader of smugglers.       
RAB captain Nahid sustained severe head injuries when he was hit by an iron rod during the raid after midnight.
A few such cases in recent times indicated that some sections in the law enforcement agencies might be getting involved in abductions for ransom and other reasons.
In many other cases, it was alleged that people identifying themselves as lawmen had been involved in abduction.
The incidents of abduction have increased considerably in recent times as the statistics of police headquarters showed that 879 people, most of them children and businessmen, were  kidnapped in 2013 – the highest number of abductions in a single year since 2004.
Rapid Action Battalion data showed that they had rescued 119 victims of abduction, including 20 children, in 114 successful operations during which the elite force had arrested 184 alleged kidnappers.
In Saturday’s incident, RAB arrested Fazikul Islam, Savar police assistant sub-inspector, former army soldier Rezaul Haq, who left the army in 2012, and police informants Miran Khan and Sujon Sheikh. The rest two, Md Sabur, alias Sabur Chairman, and Shamsul Haque, are members of a gang of smugglers, the RAB said.
In a media briefing, ATM Habibur Rahman, director of legal and media wing of RAB, said that the four, who had been leading a gang engaged in abductions, were arrested during the raid, but some of their associates had managed to escape.
The RAB official said that they had arrested them after a long hunt.
RAB detained Sabur Chairman, said to be leader of the gang. As the RAB team chased them and broke into their hideout in a motor workshop at Aminbazar, the miscreants attacked them and struck Captain Nahid in the head with a rod.
Nahid was taken to Enam Medical College Hospital at Savar before being shifted to the Combined Military Hospital in Dhaka.
Earlier, Kafrul police officer-in-charge of Wajed Ali and a sub-inspector was temporarily suspended for their alleged involvement in kidnapping a private university student, Shafiqul Islam, on January 19.
Shafiqul, a student of Prime University, later was released after his father paid the kidnappers a ransom of Tk 20 lakh. Police, however, said Wajed was closed for negligence of duty.
The Detective Branch had arrested seven people, including three policemen of Kafrul police station, on February 2, 2012 on allegation of abduction for ransom.
It was alleged that Kafrul police sub-inspector Mosharaf Hossain, assistant sub-inspector Robiul Alam, constable Niamat Ali, former army man Jahidul Islam and three others abducted Amanullah, a businessman in Keraniganj, from a cab under Mohakhali flyover and demanded Taka 50,000 from his family for his release.
Two Bangladesh Nationalist Party activists were found dead in Nilphamari on January 18 and January 20 after they were picked up by the law enforcers from Panchagarh and Tangail, their families alleged.
Lakshmichap union BNP organising secretary Golam Rabbani was found dead in a bush beside Nilphamari–Domar road on the morning of January 18 and the body of Tupamari union Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal joint secretary Atikur Rahman, 26, was recovered from Dhola Gachha Nariya Khamba area of Saidpur bypass road on January 20.
Both of them were accused in the case of the attack on the motorcade of cultural activist-turned Awami League leader Asaduzzaman Noor, now the cultural affairs minister, at Ramganj on December 14, 2013, that had left at least five people dead.
A case was filed against about 1,500 people, naming 14 BNP men, including Rabbani and Atikur, the police said.
The families and witnesses said that Rabbani was abducted by 18-20 people identifying themselves as members of RAB while Atik was kidnapped by 6-7 people identifying themselves as DB men.
The lawmen, however, denied they had picked up Rabbani or Atikur.




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