A constable was shot dead by Jamaat-Shibir men when a police team went to a remote village in Koira upazila of Khulna to arrest Jamaat activists early yesterday.
The cops came under attack after they arrested three Jamaat men on charges of assaulting police and looting and torching houses of the local Hindus and Awami League supporters between February 28 and March 6 over the death sentence to Jamaat leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee.
The Jamaat-Shibir men snatched away two of the arrestees.
The constable, Mofizur Rahman, 48, died of bleeding from a gunshot wound in one of his legs, said Officer-in-Charge Fazlur Rahman of Koira Police Station. Four other cops and 11 Jamaat-Shibir activists were injured in a shootout that followed when the police returned fire.
The team of 12 policemen, led by Sub-Inspector Momin of Angtihara police outpost under Koira Police Station, had reached Golkhali village on foot shortly after midnight.
As soon as it made the arrests, Jamaat men urged villagers through loud speakers at local mosques to resist the cops and free the arrestees.
Fired up, some 2,000 Jamaat-Shibir supporters, armed with sticks and firearms, pounced on the policemen. Firing at the law enforcers, they snatched away two of the arrestees -- Gani Sarder and Rashid. The other arrestee is Mazid.
By the time the policemen managed to break up the mob, Mofizur had started bleeding profusely with a bullet lodged in one of his legs.
It took his colleagues hours to get him to Koira upazila health complex, 25 kilometres away. He was declared dead on arrival at the facility around 4:30am.
Khulna Superintendent of Police Golam Abdur Rauf said, “The village where Mofizur was shot is situated by the Sundarbans and is quite inaccessible. It was too late when he was taken to the health complex.”
A case was filed with the police station against 800 Jamaat-Shibir men for attacking law enforcers and obstructing them in the discharge of duties during hartal hours on February 28.
On the day, at least 40 people including 20 policemen were injured in clashes between police and the activists.
On March 5, Jamaat-Shibir and BNP men torched and looted several houses of Hindus in Amadi union. The following day, they vandalised an AL leader's house in Bedkashi union of the upazila, leaving one injured, said Bazlur Rahman, officer-in-charge of the police station.
Police filed two more cases last week against 200 Jamaat-Shibir and BNP men with the police station in connection with the incidents, the OC said.
Mofizur's body would be sent to his village in Narail after an autopsy at Khulna Medical College Hospital, said Assistant Superintendent of Police Kader Beg. His namaz-e-janaza will be held at Khulna Police Lines.
Members of police and Border Guard Bangladesh were deployed in Koira upazila hours after the incident.
At least seven policemen have so far been killed after Jamaat-Shibir activists unleashed terror across the country in protest over Sayedee's sentence.
Of the other six victims, four were killed in Gaibandha and one each in Chittagong and Jhenidah.
Meanwhile in Rajshahi, six policemen were injured by Jamaat-Shibir men at Morshidpur village in Bagha upazila yesterday.
The attack was made after a police team arrested Nuhu Sarker, chief of Bagha unit Jamaat.
The Jamaat activists snatched the arrestee. They also took away a revolver from Sub-Inspector Nuruzzaman of Bagha Police Station, said Rajshahi Superintendent of Police Alamgir Kabir.
The incident took place around 7:30pm when the team led by the SI went to the village to arrest Nuhu.
Nuhu was caught while he was watching television at a BNP office in the village.
Shortly afterwards, over a hundred Jamaat-Shibir activists surrounded the cops and started beating them indiscriminately with sticks.
SI Nuruzzaman and Constable Kutubuddin were admitted to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital while four other constables were admitted to Bagha upazila health complex.