Hill Voice, 11 October 2019, Friday, Dhaka:  According to report of The Independent (Deepak Acharjee) dated October 10, a total of 677 posts in 14 categories will be created to form a new battalion of the country’s elite force, the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), for maintaining law and order in the three hill districts of Rangamati, Bandarbans and Khagrachhari and the tourism town of Cox’s Bazar.

These include one post of director of the unit-RAB-15, six posts of deputy director (DD), 35 posts of senior assistant director, 54 posts of deputy assistant director, one post of religious teacher, 130 posts of sub-inspector and 152 posts of assistant sub-inspector, government sources said. Public Security Division of the Home Ministry has prepared a proposal in this regard and it would be placed at the meeting of the Secretary Committee on Administrative Improvement Affairs Thursday.

Sources said the new RAB-15 unit, named “Parbattoya Battalion”, started its activities recently on a temporary basis in the Cox’s Bazar area as per the decision of the ministry on November 25, 2018. The new battalion of RAB-15 will work for the three hill districts and Cox’s Bazar, keeping in mind the large number of Rohingyas staying in Cox’s Bazar and also help maintain law and order in the three hill districts. The elite RAB was formed on March 26, 2004 with members of the police, Army, Navy, Air Force, Border Guard Bangladesh and Ansar.

Indigenous rights activists expressed their concern over deployment of RAB in the three hill districts of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT). They said that it will cause more violation of human rights in CHT which is already vulnerable due to ongoing military atrocity.

A member of CHT Regional Council who did not disclose his name said that the CHT Regional Council was not consulted about the formation of RAB battalion in CHT, whereas, according to the CHT Regional Council Act 1998 framed as per the CHT Accord, the ‘general administration’ and ‘law & order’ subjects falls under jurisdiction of the CHT Regional Council (CHTRC) for supervision and coordination. Deployment of RAB in CHT without consultation of the CHT Regional Council and three Hill District Councils (HDCs), it would be direct violation of CHT Accord, says the said member of CHTRC.