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RAB : Rapid Action Battalion

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Rapid Action Battalion


Rapid Action Battalion or RAB, is an elite anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit of the Bangladesh Police. It consists of members of the Bangladesh Police, Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force, Border Guard Bangladesh and Bangladesh Ansar. It was formed on 26 March 2004 as RAT (Rapid Action Team), and commenced operations on 14 April 2004.

The Rapid Action Battalion has been criticized by rights groups for its use of extrajudicial killings and is accused of forced disappearances. The force has also been involved in several high-profile crimes, including murder. Although rights group have described it as a "death squad," the US government officials in Bangladesh describe it as an "organization best positioned to one day become a Bangladeshi version of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation."



Rapid Action Battalion was formed on 12 July 2003 under the Armed Police Battalion (Amendment) Act, 2003.

The act was passed through the amendment of Armed Forces Battalion Ordinance 1979. Each battalion of Rapid Action Battalion is commanded by Additional Deputy Inspector General rank officer or its equivalent in other forces. RAB cannot file cases with courts themselves but must be forward the cases to Bangladesh Police who will file the case with the court. RAB replaced the short lived Rapid Action Team (RAT) which was formed in January 2003.

 RAB has faced criticism for alleged extrajudicial killings from its formation. In an editorial on 23 July 2004 The Daily Star wrote "reign it in before it turns into a [RABid] monster." From 2004 to 2008 RAB had killed 1062 people. RAB has a media centre in Karwan Bazar.

In March 2017, Intelligence Wing chief Lt Col. Abul Kalam Azad was killed in a bomb blast in Sylhet while raiding an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant hideout.

RAB has 14 battalion size field units spread all over the country. Among them, 5 are located in the capital Dhaka.




Main activities and types of work done by RAB are:

Counter-Terrorism RAB apprehended numerous terrorism suspects during the course of their tenure.

Anti drugs RAB has been involved in the control of illegal substances such as Ya ba, Phensedyl and Heroin.

Emergency help RAB provides immediate response for situations such as armed robbery and kidnappings.

National common or annual needs Many national needs are filled by RAB by providing extra duty during Eid-ul-Fitr, Puja, world Ijtema and Akheri Munazat, among other events. They also contribute resources during elections, such as the Narayangonj City Corporation Election.


RAB Photos and Images

RAB Logo RAB during Pohela Boishakh








Personally I think despite all their shortfalls and criticism, RAB has managed to curb crime effectively in a country as densely populated as Bangladesh. So much so that the news of RAB arriving stabs criminals with fear. They have also been instrumental in ridding the country of terrorists and fundamentalists.

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RAB also has 15 battalion size field units spread all over the country. Among them, 5 are located in the capital Dhaka. The units are located as follows:

  1. RAB-1 : Uttara, Dhaka
  2. RAB-2 : Agargaon, Dhaka
  3. RAB-3 : Tikatuli, Dhaka
  4. RAB-4 : Mirpur, Dhaka
  5. RAB-5 : Rajshahi
  6. RAB-6 : Khulna
  7. RAB-7 : Chittagong
  8. RAB-8 : Barisal
  9. RAB-9 : Sylhet
  10. RAB-10 : Jatrabari, Dhaka
  11. RAB-11 : Narayanganj
  12. RAB-12 : Sirajganj
  13. RAB-13 : Rangpur
  14. RAB-14 : Mymensingh
  15. RAB-15: Cox's Bazar
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