The Cabinet Committee on Law and Order yesterday reviewed the situation and asked the home ministry to make all efforts to improve it.
The committee agreed in principle to form a separate force named Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) in place of the present Rapid Action Team (RAT) by amending the Armed Police Battalion Act, officials said.
It discussed how to form the RAB proposed by the home ministry, how it can be given a legal framework and strengthened to make it an effective force to combat crimes.
The meeting requested the law ministry to look into the proposal and make necessary changes.
The cabinet committee would then review the proposal before it is placed again before the cabinet, sources said.
Earlier, the proposal was sent back twice from cabinet meetings as various questions were raised on the formation of a separate force side by side the existing ones. Moreover, the cabinet found that some aspects of the proposal were controversial, sources noted.
The committee, which met yesterday after more than eight months, also reviewed the steps taken after its previous meetings.
The meeting, chaired by Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, convenor of the committee and local government, rural development and cooperatives minister, stressed curbing crimes, especially growing number of murders.
The committee last met on September 22 last year and so held 28 meetings since its formation on October 10, 2001.
It could not meet for several months because of the anti-crime drive by the joint forces and some other reasons, a senior official mentioned.
Yesterdy's meeting was attended by, among others, Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Moudud Ahmed, Housing and Public Works Minister Mirza Abbas, Food Minister Abdullah Al Noman, Dhaka Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka and Home Minister Altaf Hossain Chowdhury. The cabinet secretary and the inspector general of police were also present.