Criminals stormed a house in Sonalibagh in Moghbazar and shot two youths and a woman dead and injured another person last night over illegal toll and land dispute.
The deceased were Mohammad Munna, 18, Billal Hossain, 20, and Ranu Akhter Brishti, 28.
Ranu's brother Hridoy, 20, was injured and was being treated at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
A top criminal, “Kailla Babu”, and his cohorts were behind the triple murder, said Officer-in-Charge Mashiure Rahman of Ramna Police Station.
The “killer” has been identified, claimed State Minister for Home Affairs Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal while visiting the spot. “He who killed the three is a hit man and accused in several murder cases. We will arrest him at any cost,” the minister told reporters.
Abdul Jalil Mondal, acting commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, briefing journalists at the spot around 10:00pm said, "The assailants stormed the tin-built house around 8:00pm and opened fire indiscriminately, leaving the four critically injured."
Of the four victims, three were shot inside and close to the house while Ranu was fired on about 20 yards away from the house, locals said.
Detectives, who were collecting evidence from the crime scene, said “Kailla Babu” and his uncle Rony several years ago had built the tin-roofed house illegally occupying government land. The house had six rooms.
Ranu's uncle Shah Alam told The Daily Star that Kailla Babu kept his share of two rooms while Rony a year ago sold his four rooms to Ranu and her uncle Kala Chan for Tk 3.5 lakh.
The sale triggered a feud between Kailla Babu and Rony with the former demanding he be allowed to buy the rooms. Eventually, Kailla Babu demanded Tk 3 lakh toll from Ranu and Kala Chan in exchange for allowing them to live there.
Ranu and Kala Chan was having none of that. They, a few months ago, filed a case with Ramna Police Station against Kailla Babu, family sources claimed, but police sources said they were looking into their files to see if a case had indeed been filed in this connection.
Kailla Babu then started mounting pressure on Ranu and Kala Chan to withdraw the case.
A couple of months ago, Kailla Babu sold off his two rooms and had his revenge yesterday killing Ranu and critically injuring Hridoy, victim's family sources said.
Their neighbours Munna and Billal got shot at when they rushed in to help, family sources said.
Inspector Mozammel Haque, camp-in-charge at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, said on-duty doctors declared three of them dead on arrival and admitted Hridoy.
Police recovered eight shells of used bullet and three knives from the scene.
Detectives and top police officials including the inspector general of police visited the spot.
The triple murder of last night was barely a day after unidentified assailants slit the throat of Shaikh Nurul Islam Faruqi at his East Rajabazar home. He was the chief imam of the Supreme Court mosque.
Asked whether four people killed in two nights were a reflection of deteriorating law and order, the state minister for home affairs said last night's killings were a stray incident.