A 10-year-old girl was shot dead by a bullet from an unknown source while playing in a jungle near her house in Chhalimpur area of Sitakunda upazila of Chittagong yesterday.
Nahima Begum, who was hit by the bullet in the back, was daughter of Ayub Ali of Rosangiri village of Fatikchhari upazila. The poor family settled in Sitakunda years ago.
Police suspected that the bullet was abruptly shot from a firearm of the victim's brother, Piyaru, who was known as a local criminal, when he was "cleaning" the arm. All members of Nahima's family, including Piyaru, fled the area.
Quoting Nahima's paternal aunt Laila Begum, Jahirul Islam, in-charge of Chittagong Medical College Hospital Police Camp, said Nahima was playing near her house when they heard a sound of gunshot around 11:00am. When they rushed to the spot, they found Nahima bullet-hit. The girl was declared dead at CMCH around 12:30pm, he added.
Iftekhar Hasan, officer-in-charge of Sitakunda Police Station, said Nahima's brother Piyaru was a local miscreant facing three cases with the station over extortion and mugging. He suspected that the bullet came from Piyaru's firearm. Nahima's aunt Lail also went into hiding.
The body was sent to the CMC morgue for autopsy, and a murder case was filed with Sitakunda Police Station.