-- Unknown assailants spray bullets on him around 10:00am
-- Hit by 3 bullets
-- Body kept at Rangpur Medical College Hospital
-- 6 detained for interrogation
A Japanese national was gunned down in northern district of Rangpur in the morning today, five days into the killing of an Italian citizen in Dhaka's diplomatic zone.
Kunio Hoshi, 66, was shot dead at Alutary village of Kaunia upazila in the same fashion as Cesare Tavella was killed. In both cases, the assailants came in motorbike and left hurriedly after spraying bullets on the victims, according to police.
Hoshi came to Bangladesh in August this year and had an agricultural project under which he grew Napier grass on two acres of leased land in Alutary, which is five kilometres off Rangpur city.
Law enforcers detained five persons for interrogation in connection with the murder.
The six include one Zakaria Bala, owner of the house at Munshipara in the city where Hoshi used to stay as a paying guest.
A local contractor, Zakaria was an acquaintance of Hoshi for long. “Whenever Hoshi used to visit Bangladesh, he would stay at Zakaria’s house,” Nazrul Islam, assistant inspector general (media) at Police Headquarters, told The Daily Star.The other detainees are Md Monnaf, a rickshaw puller, Murad Hossain, 30, Humayun Kabir Hira, Abdul Matin and Titas, Abdur Razzak, superintendent of police (SP) in Rangpur, told The Daily Star.
Humayun Kabir Hira has a fisheries farm near Hoshi’s agriculture project and Abdul Matin lives near the spot of murder, said Md Abdul Quaker Zilani, officer-in-charge of Kotwali Police Station.
Hoshi was going to his farm around 10:00am when three assailants riding a motorbike opened fire on the victim, the SP said quoting locals.
The firing took place just 50 yards off Hoshi’s farm in Alutary, he added.
Mostofa Hossain, a small shop owner adjacent to the spot took the victim to Shatmatha area in the city on a battery-run autorickshaw. From there, he hired a pickup van and took Hoshi to Rangpur Medical College Hospital.
But after they reached the hospital, doctors pronounced Hoshi dead.
The victim received three bullets in the chest and hand. His body has been kept at the hospital.
Talking to The Daily Star about the Japanese citizen, AIG Nazrul Islam said: “We’ve heard that Hoshi, being an acquaintance of Zakaria, used to visit Bangladesh once in every year and stay at his house in Rangpur.”
Meanwhile, expressing condolences to Hoshi’s family, friends and Japan, US Ambassador to Bangladesh Marcia Bernicat today said in a statement: “I urge the Government of Bangladesh to investigate every aspect of this crime and to bring the perpetrators to justice as soon as possible.”
On September 28, Italian citizen Tavella was shot dead by criminals in Gulshan. He used to work as the project manager of Profitable Opportunities for Food Security (Proofs), a project of Netherlands-based organisation ICCO Cooperation.
Soon after the murder, Reuters reported that an online statement in the name of the hardline Islamist group Islamic State later claimed responsibility for the attack.
The murder stirred up controversies of a “terrorist attack” and was condemned by EU Ambassador to Bangladesh and British High Commissioner, who issued a travel alert to their citizens living in Bangladesh. They claimed militants may be targeting western interests in Bangladesh. Following the incident, United States and Canada warned their citizens of militant attacks in Bangladesh, and asked them to remain alert.
On the other hand, as repercussions of this event, the Bangladesh-Australia cricket series which was supposed to begin today has been postponed as Australian team cancelled their trip to Bangladesh showing security reason.
READ more: Australia postpone Bangladesh tour