RAB-like American sanctions against Bangladesh police likely soon

Representatives of international organisations to hold a decisive meeting in the first week of November to chalk out a plan to pin Awami League leadership for widespread human rights violations


The US authorities will likely impose strong sanctions against the Bangladesh police in general and some of its top officers in particular – on the lines instituted against the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) a couple of years ago – over the next few days, the Northeast News has reliably learnt.
As part of a larger strategy to put the Sheikh Hasina government on the mat, a crucial meeting of some key international organisations will be held under the leadership of some high-level American officials holding important public office, in the next few days.
The objective of this meeting will be to document and solidify a growing body of evidence on gross human and civil rights violations in Bangladesh between 2014 and 2023 – precisely the period covering the unending rule of the Sheikh Hasina-led Awami League – which was marked with instances of “enforced disappearances” of hundreds of people.
Sources familiar with the “progress” made by the international organisations revealed to Northeast News that the main objective of the meeting in early November was to prepare a foolproof dossier that “could be part of a legal case” that “may likely be moved against powerful Awami League politicians” in an international legal body.
The US’ immediate and urgent action against the Bangladesh police, including the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), will be in the form of sanctions that were imposed against the RAB, including seven of its top officers, in December 2021 by the US Treasury Department. Around the same time, the US State Department had also imposed sanctions against the then RAB chief Benazir Ahmed and former commanding officer (Unit 7) Lieutenant Colonel Miftah Uddin Ahmed.
The impending action against the Bangladesh police stems from its “questionable” role leading up to the October 28 demonstrations of the opposition parties in Dhaka. The US authorities’ decision will be based, among other things, on numerous video clippings. Suffice it to say that the DMP suffered one casualty – a death – in the pitched battles between the supporters of the Awami League and the BNP as also the Jamaat-e-Islami.
Top sources in Bangladesh’s security establishment revealed to Northeast News that the country’s home minister, Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, had an “inkling” of the US move to impose sanctions against the police following his meeting with American ambassador Peter Haas a few days ago. Kamal, sources disclosed, shared his “fears” (of US sanctions against the police) with some senior police officers soon after meeting Haas.
A day after the October 28 violence on the streets of central Dhaka, unconfirmed reports suggest that the bloody clashes erupted after Awami League cadres, with “back-up support” by the police “engineered a situation” around the Bangladesh Chief Justice’s official residence that sparked the upsurge that led to an abrupt end to the BNP’s political programme at the Paltan area.
Reliable police sources admitted that the Jamaat supports left their Shapla Chattar venue by 3:30 pm, following which some miscreants targeted the chief justice’s residence, leading to the engagement of BNP supporters.


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