Two suspects in the Mitu murder case have been killed in a “gunfight” with police in Rangunia upazila of Chittagong.
The dead are Nurul Islam alias Rashed, 27, of Islampur and Mohammad Nurunnabi alias Nabi, 28, of the upazila's Rajanagar area.
However, Rashed's family alleged that police had picked up the two last month and “cooked up the shootout story after murdering them”.
Recently, the law enforcement agency had issued a ban on the two leaving the country.
Officer-in-Charge Humayun Kabir of Rangunia Police Station said acting on a tip off, the Detective Branch (DB) of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) raided Ranirhat around 3:10am on Tuesday to arrest the “killers” of Mitu, wife of SP Babul Akter.
When the police reached Thandachhari area, criminals, who were hiding, opened fire and swooped on the law enforcers with sharp weapons. Police retaliated with gunfire, triggering the “gunfight”, said the OC.
The incident left Rashed and Nabi injured. They were declared dead on arrival at a local health complex, said DB Assistant Commissioner Md Kamruzzaman, who is also the investigation officer of the Mitu murder case.
Three policemen -- Sub-Inspector Mohammad Sekandar, assistant sub-inspectors Mohammad Azhar and Imam Hossain -- were also hurt, he claimed.
They were first treated at the health complex in Rangunia and then moved to the Police Lines Hospital in Chittagong city, said the IO.
Two pistols, two magazines and two knives were recovered from the spot, said the police.
On June 5, three assailants stabbed and shot Mahmuda Khanam Mitu while she was taking her son to his school bus stop at GEC intersection in the port city.
On June 26, the CMP informed the media about the arrest of two suspects -- Anwar and Motalebb Miya alias Wasim.
According to police sources, the two in their confessional statements before a court had said police informant Kamrul Islam Sikdar Musa hired six hit men, including them, for killing Mitu.
The others were Rashed, Nabi, Kalu, and Shajahan.
The duo also said one Bhola gave them the arms for the killing.
Police later arrested Bhola, an accused in 16 cases, including three murder cases.
On June 29, police issued a ban on all the suspects from leaving the country.
PICKED UP BY POLICE?
After the “shootout”, Rashed's father Ahmed Hossain alias Sona Miya told The Daily Star that police had picked up Rashed and Nabi from Uttar Gostarpar Militarypool area in Boalkhali upazila on June 23.
Rashed and Nabi went there to meet Ilias, a friend of Rashed, who was involved in the BNP, said the father.
“After my son was picked up, I held a press conference so that he is produced before the court and the court decides whether he was guilty.
“But instead of taking him to the court, police have killed him,” alleged the father.
Denying the allegation, IO Kamruzzaman said Rashed was a “listed criminal” and was accused in several cases, including three murder and one arms cases, filed with Rangunia Police Station.
A relative of Nabi, who went to the Chittagong Medical College morgue to receive the body, said he did not know anything about Nabi's profession.
Nabi's family could not be reached for comments.