THE United States has decided to discontinue its training programs and assistance for the Rapid Action Battalion of Bangladesh citing a gross violation of human rights by the battalion personnel, reports a local English daily. The decision came shortly after a congressional hearing on democratic reconciliation and labour rights issues regarding Bangladesh. The US government funds training programs for foreign security forces under the Foreign Assistance Act 1961. The hearing on “Prospects for democratic reconciliation and workers’ right in Bangladesh” was the third hearing of the US Senate Committee on the current political situation in Bangladesh. US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal in her testimony to the senate committee expressed concern over ‘recent reports of continuing extrajudicial killings and disappearances allegedly committed by security forces’. The US Senate urged the leaders to take immediate steps to rein in and condemn violence as well as to provide space for peaceful political protests. Within days after the senate committee hearing, in an official letter to the inspector general of police, the United States said that it had determined that ‘individual members and units of the Rapid Action Battalion are ineligible for US training and assistance as a result of gross violation of human rights which have been committed by RAB members.’ The US authorities wanted that Bangladesh should take effective steps to bring members responsible for such rights violation to justice for the continuity of the US-funded training programs. ‘Henceforth, we request that the government of Bangladesh refrain from nominating RAB members for US-funded training opportunities until such time as US restrictions are lifted,’ the letter read. Despite the harsh criticisms and protests from the global human rights watchdogs, the security forces seems obstinate in their aims of carrying out targeted killings of opposition BNP and Jamaat-Shibir activists in the disguise of “crossfire” or “gunfights”. Numerous opposition leaders are under forced disappearance and nobody knows their fate. However, this phenomenon is not exclusive to the BAL government. At least 760 people were killed extra-judicially by the battalion till August 2013 since the elite force was set up in 2004, according to reports by rights watchdog Odhikar. In addition, 31 people were tortured to death by RAB during the period. We are appalled by the exponential rise of extrajudicial killings and the irreparable loss of human life. We think not only the US but also every sane person or nation should condemn such unrestrained brandishing of terror. If Bangladesh is to remain a member in the civilized sphere of nations these killings must be stopped at once.