Two people were killed, one by cattle thieves and another in a clash with police over handover of a captured thief, in Mostafanagar village of Companyganj in Sylhet yesterday.
Around 100 others were injured in the clash, including 10 policemen, who took treatment at Sylhet Police Lines Hospital and Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital.
According to police and locals, a group of thieves broke into the house of Zilu Mia, 55, around 4:00am to steal his cattle. As he woke up and tried to stop them, a thief stabbed him leaving him dead on the spot.
Hearing Zilu's scream, his family members rushed to the spot and caught alleged thief Sonai Miah, while others escaped, said Altaf Hossain, officer-in-charge of Companyganj police.
Locals kept the thief confined until police arrived on the scene around 7:00am. But an altercation took place over turning the thief over to the police as cattle theft became a menace in the locality.
At one stage, the villagers locked in a clash and the police intervened to disperse the crowd. However, as the clash got intensified, the police opened fire to bring the situation under control.
But villager Mofiz Mia, 50, received a bullet and died of the injury, Nasrin Jahan Fatema, upazila vice-chairman, told this correspondent.
Fatema claimed the clash ensued as the villagers wanted to lynch the thief as 22 villages in the upazila had recently been plagued by cattle theft.
Police had to shoot hundreds of rubber bullets to ease the situation, said Ruhul Amin, officer-in-charge (investigation) of Companyganj police.
The police said they had already taken steps to stop cattle thieves.
No case was filed as of yesterday afternoon. Additional police force was deployed to ward off any untoward incidents.