Five suspected robbers, including four members of a robbery gang in the Sundarbans, were killed in two separate “gunfights” with law enforcers in Khulna and Habiganj early yesterday.
In Khulna, the four members of a robbery gang named “Aminur Bahini” were killed in an alleged gunfight with Rab-6 during a raid in Koyra upazila’s Koyra Khal area.
The dead were identified as Aminur Rahman, 33, the gang’s leader, Rafiqul Islam, 24, its second-in-command, Monish Saha, 26, and Akhtarul Islam, 36, Rab said.
Tofazzal Hossain, Rab-6 special company commander, said they conducted the raid around 2:00am following information that the leader of “Aminur Bahini” was staying there.
“Sensing our presence, the robbers entered the jungles of the Sundarbans and took position with arms. Then, they opened fire on the Rab team, forcing us to retaliate,” said Tofazzal, also an assistant superintendent of police.
“The gunfight continued in several phases until today [yesterday] morning. Some members of the gang fled the scene when day broke, leaving behind the four injured,” he told our Khulna correspondent.
The four were rushed to Koyra Upazila Health Complex where doctors declared them dead, he added.
The bodies were sent to Khulna Medical College Hospital for autopsy.
Tofazzal also said that two Rab members were also injured during the “gunfight”. They were also admitted to the health complex.
Rab claimed to have recovered three firearms from the scene.
However, Mithun Saha, brother of Monish Saha, told The Daily Star that some plainclothes policemen “picked up” his brother from their residence at Aichgati in Khulna’s Rupsha upazila on October 1.
“On October 10, we informed Rab-6 about it. We came to know about his death as ‘a robber of the Sundarbans’ today [yesterday]. But he was a small businessman,” said Mithun.
In Habiganj, suspected robber Kudrat Ali, 40, was killed in a “gunfight” with the detective branch (DB) of police around 3:00am, in Purasundha Bash Bagan area adjacent to the Dhaka-Sylhet highway, in the district’s Shayestaganj upazila.
Rabiul Islam, assistant superintendent of Habiganj police, said that Kudrat, a member of an inter-district robbery gang, was accused in 13 robbery cases filed with different police stations in Habiganj and Sylhet.
Acting on a tip-off about a robbery gang, of which Kudrat was a member, active in the area, a joint team comprising DB and police officials conducted a raid there.
Mozammel Haque, officer-in-charge of Shayestaganj police station, said that criminals opened fire on police after sensing their presence, which forced the law enforcers to retaliate.
“At one point, Kudrat Ali was shot,” he told our Moulvibazar correspondent.
The team claimed to have recovered one pipegun, two sharp weapons and five bullets from the spot.
The OC also said that six policemen were injured during the incident. They received treatment at Habiganj Adhunik Sadar Hospital, he added.