Four people, two of whom were accused of murdering a police officer, were killed in alleged gunfights with law enforcers in Tangail, Jhenidah and Rangpur during the Eid holidays.
In Tangail, the killed were Nur Islam Ulka, 26, and Shahed Miah, 27, who were accused in the case filed for murdering assistant sub-inspector Nurul Islam of Tangail Model Police Station.
Mohammad Akhtaruzzaman, officer-in-charge of the police station, said police raided a house in Takia Kodma village of Mirzapur upazila at around 4:00am on Monday to arrest Ulka and his accomplices.
Sensing their presence, Ulka and his accomplices opened fire, prompting the policemen to retaliate.
Ulka was killed on the spot while his cohorts Sagar alias Dollar and Shahed sustained bullets wounds and were rushed to Mirzapur Kumudini Hospital. Later that day, they were shifted to Tangail General Hospital.
The next day, they were taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) as their conditions worsened. There, Shahed succumbed to injuries on Wednesday and Sagar was still under treatment, Tangail police said.
Riyad, another accomplice of Ulka, was arrested from the "gunfight" spot and sent to jail later. Two foreign-made pistols with 11 bullets were recovered from the spot, the Tangail OC said.
On July 26, police raided the residence of Ulka, chief of Ulka Bahini believed to be involved in criminal activities in the town, at Purbo Adalat Para of the town. He fired shots at the policemen and escaped with his associates. ASI Nurul Islam, 30, sustained bullets in his chest and hand. He died at the DMCH the following day. A case was filed in this connection against 12 people, including Ulka.
Police said Ulka was accused in six criminal cases, including two for murder.
The families of the deceased, however, described the "shootouts" as "cold-blooded murders".
"They [police] killed my innocent son. They fired four bullets into my son," wailed Shahed's mother as his body was taken to their Purbo Adalatpara residence around 6:00pm yesterday.
"Why did they [police] deprive me of justice? Why didn't they give me the opportunity to save my son through trial?" said the bereaved mother.
Claiming that Shahed had no case filed against him, his father Jahirul Islam said, "My son died without treatment … Police barred doctors from treating my son."
Superintendent Mohammed Tanvir of Tangail police, however, denied the allegations.
"If the police wanted to kill him, why would they bear the treatment costs? Why would they send him to Dhaka Medical College Hospital for better treatment, hiring a microbus during the Eid holidays?" he argued.
Ulka's family too accused police of "murdering" him when his body was taken to their house in the same area in the evening.
"They [Ulka and his associates] were sleeping when the cops sprayed bullets on them," alleged Ulka's mother Rabeya Khatun.
"Police told my son-in-laws at Kumudidni Hospital that 'Your brother-in-law [Ulka] shot thrice on a police officer and so we've sprayed five bullets into him in revenge for that'," Rabeya continued. "I want trial of my son's extra-judicial killing."
Beside her, Ulka's widow Naima Khan was wailing with her four-year-old daughter in her arms.
"My daughter is continuously asking for her father. Now what do I say to her? What about our future?" Naima said.
Meanwhile, Monirul Islam, 35, was killed in a similar "gunfight" incident in Jhenidah's Shailkupa on Monday.
Iqbal Bahar Chowdhury, OC of Shailkupa Police Station, said they got a tip-off that a gang of criminals had gathered at Kanapukurai village. When they raided the village around 3:00am, the "criminals" started firing bullets at the law enforcers, triggering a gunfight.
After the gunfight was over, police recovered Monirul's body along with a shutter gun, a bullet and a sword from the scene, he added.
Monirul was accused in three cases for murder, robbery and extortion, police said.
In Rangpur, an alleged robber was killed in a "gunfight" with police on Dhaka-Rangpur highway at Phulbari of Mithapukur upazila on Wednesday night.
Alamgir Hossain, 40, was a ringleader of Alamgir Bahini and son of Javed Ali of Khamarpara Phulchouki village in the upazila.
Acting on secret information that a gang of criminals were preparing to commit robbery in Bhelur Bridge area of the village, a team of police went to the spot around 11:00pm, said Rabiul Alam, officer-in-charge of Mithapukur Police Station.
Seeing the law enforcers, the "robbers" opened fire, prompting police to retaliate. Alamgir was caught in the line of fire and died on the spot, according to police. Two were arrested following the "gunfight" while the others managed to flee.
Alamgir was wanted in several cases, including that of robbery and mugging, said the OC.