In a response to the controversy surrounding “crossfire”, Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Benazir Ahmed yesterday told the press that police did not use their arms to do anything except what they were allowed to do by law.
He said so while attending an anti-formalin awareness drive in Motijheel of the capital.
In the very area, two wanted muggers--Jakir Hossain Akmal and Ramzan Ali--were killed, allegedly in a “gunfight” with detectives the day before. Following the incident, the family of one deceased said there was no gunfight; rather police had picked them up and shot them point blank.
Nusrat Jahan Jharna, wife of Ramzan, also alleged that the detectives might have received bribes and killed them at the behest of some criminal syndicates from Sayedabad bus terminal, where her husband held a day-job.
Responding to the questions raised by Jharna, the DMP boss said, “Police don't do contract killings.”
However, the number of people killed in the “shootouts” with police in the past six months climbed up to 50 as per statistics provided by rights body Ain o Salish Kendra. Another 28 died in such "gunfights" with the Rapid Action Battalion.
Meanwhile, despite doubts about whether the “crossfire” actually took place, Motijheel police said it would require an investigation by the detectives themselves.
The appointment of the detectives involved in the "shootout" to investigate the "murder" of her husband left Jharna distraught. “I lost my husband. Will I not get justice as well? Should I give up hope for justice?” said Jharna, talking to The Daily Star.
She said several individuals claiming to be detectives had visited their home on the night of June 24, looking for her husband.
Police sources told this correspondent that the two killed had been wanted for a long time with Ramzan Ali having at least 93 cases filed against him.