A man drowned in a canal while trying to escape policemen chasing him during a drive by Desco to snap illegal electricity connections to Jhilpar slum in the capital's Mirpur yesterday.
The dead is Abdul Khaleque, 38, who worked as a cook at different events.
A team of Dhaka Electric Supply Company (Desco) along with a police contingent went to the slum at Rupnagar of Mirpur around 10:30am to cut off unauthorised electricity connections to the slum, said Mohammad Kamal Hossain, assistant commissioner (Pallabi) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police.
Incensed, slum dwellers obstructed the team, attacked Desco staff and the law enforcers.
Witnesses said a “lineman” of the slum, Rahim had asked police to grant slum residents some time to get their connections authorised.
As Rahim was being beaten up by the cops, his accomplices attacked policemen, said day labourer Nur Hossain of the slum. Police in retaliation started wholesale assault on the slum dwellers.
A chase and counter chase took place between police and locals for about half an hour during the drive, leaving at least 10 people injured. Many jumped into the canal to escape police action.
Rescuers of fire service and civil defense recovered the body of Abdul Khaleque from the canal after a search of about four hours.
Forty people were picked up from the spot. Later, the Desco staff cut off power supply to the entire slum.
Contacted, Md Arjad Hossain, managing director of Desco, said the team snapped most of the illegal connections to the slum. Locals vandalised five vehicles of the company used in the drive, he added.