27 'LGBT' youths held in Keraniganj
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday claimed to have arrested 27 youths of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community with some Yaba tablets and cannabis in Keraniganj outside the capital.
On information from locals, the youths were held around 3:00am from a community centre in Atibazar area, Jahangir Hossain Matobbar, commanding officer of Rab-10, told The Daily Star.
Locals have been keeping an eye on the "LGBT supporters" for a long time as they used to meet in the community centre every two months, he said.
They used to rent the community centre, the Rab official said, adding that they also detained the manager of the community centre.
“As they were not involved in any illegal sexual activities, we have handed them over to Keraniganj Police Station after filing a complaint under the narcotics act,” said Jahangir.
The police station Officer-in-Charge Shaker Mohammad Zubayer said all of the youths are aged between 20 and 25 and students of different colleges and universities.
Most of them are from the capital and a few of them are from other parts of the country, he said.
Earlier, four LGBT supporters were detained in Shahbagh on April 14 last year, as they tried to bring out a procession celebrating Bangla New Year. Police, however, released them soon afterwards without pressing any charge against them.
Ten days into the incident, unidentified assailants hacked Xulhaz Mannan and his friend Mahbub Tonoy to death in a Kalabagan flat on April 25. Xulhaz was an editor of “Roopbaan,” the country's only known magazine for the LGBT while Tonoy was an LGBT supporter.
Police claimed banned militant outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team was behind the murder.