Chowdhury Abdullah Al Mamun, outgoing director general (DG) of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), said on Wednesday that members of the force do not shoot unless the situation compels them to do so.
"We take measures according to the situation. It never happens that someone pushes us and we shoot. Every member of RAB is regularly trained in these matters," Al Mamun said at an exchange meeting with journalists organised at the RAB Media Centre in the capital.
Al Mamun has recently been promoted from his post of RAB DG and is to take charge as the new Inspector General of Police (IGP) on 30 September.
Responding to a query regarding the impact of US sanctions on RAB gunfights or crossfiring, he said, "RAB uses whatever force is necessary to control the situation, in accordance with the law. When we are attacked, we have to fight back.
"Criminals attack us to avoid being caught and then RAB members are forced to take measures according to their training. As an elite force, we always have to work through challenging situations."
He also said that not only criminals but RAB members too have been injured and killed during shootouts.
"Moreover, if any such incident occurs, it is investigated according to the prevailing laws of the country," he added.
Al Mamun said, "When we are attacked, when drugs, arms, human traffickers attack us, we take measures according to the law. We do not cross the limit given to RAB by the law."
Speaking about RAB's crackdown on illegal drugs, he said RAB has arrested about 36,000 drug dealers in the last two and a half years and seized drugs worth about Tk2300 crore.
"RAB has started a war against drugs but drugs and drug addiction are on the rise. The war we are fighting against drugs is a global war," Al Mamun said, adding, "Following Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's zero-tolerance policy against drugs, raids have been conducted wherever drugs are found."
On allegations of the police being used for political purposes during elections, he said, "During elections, law enforcement forces work completely under the direction of the Election Commission.
"Various complaints have been made. If there is a specific complaint against a specific person, let us know and we will take action."