‘Human trafficker’ killed in ‘gunfight’ | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 24, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:18 AM, February 24, 2020

‘Human trafficker’ killed in ‘gunfight’

An accused in three human trafficking cases was killed in an alleged gunfight with police in Cox's Bazar's Teknaf earlier yesterday.

The dead -- Abdus Salam, 30, from Noakhalipara in Teknaf -- was one of the main accused in a human trafficking case filed after a trawler capsized near St Martin's Island, which killed at least 21 Rohingya refugees recently.

The "gunfight" took place at the foot of a hill near Salam's house around 4:00am, said Pradip Kumar Das, officer-in-charge (OC) of Teknaf Police Station.

Acting on a tip off, a team of police went to the area to arrest Salam and his cohorts, who were holding a meeting there, the OC said.

Sensing police presence, Salam's men opened fire on the law enforcers and injured three cops, he said.

In self-defence, police retaliated with gunshots. Salam's men fled at one point, the official said, adding that police found bullet-hit Salam and rushed him to the upazila health complex.

Later, he was shifted to Cox's Bazar General Hospital, where doctors declared him dead, the OC added.

The police officials injured in the gunfight received primary treatment, he said.

Police claimed to have a recovered a locally made gun, ammunition and empty shells from the spot and a case was filed in this regard with Teknaf Police Station. 

Salam was absconding as he was accused in three human trafficking cases, OC Pradip said.

At least 15 Rohingya refugees died when a trawler capsized in the Bay of Bengal near St Martin's Island while trying to go to Malaysia illegally on February 11, Bangladesh Coast Guard officials said.

Six more bodies were recovered from the Bay later as well.

The bodies that were recovered were aboard the trawler, Pradip told The Daily Star.

Apart from the victims, 72 people, including four boatmen, were rescued, while 50 others are still missing.

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