Four bullet-hit bodies were found in Narayanganj while two decomposed bodies were recovered from a field in the capital's Uttara area yesterday.
The four victims, whose bodies were retrieved from Panchrukhi Paschim Para area in Araihazar upazila around 6:00am, were shot in the head from close range, according to the doctor who carried out “primary” autopsies on them.
They were aged between 30 and 42.
One of them was identified as Lutfor Molla, 42, a car driver from the capital's Rampura Power House area. The identity of the others could not be known immediately.
Rights activists have voiced worries over the deaths, saying the authorities should run independent probes to find out what actually happened.
Earlier on September 14, bullet-riddled bodies of three jhut (scrap fabrics from garment factories) traders -- aged between 25 and 35 -- were recovered from Purbachal area in Narayanganj's Rupganj.
Their family members had alleged that 15 to 20 men in vests inscribed with two letters “DB” picked them up from a bus near Paturia ferry ghat in Manikganj while they were returning from Jhenidah on September 13.
DEATHS IN N'GANJ
The four victims were shot in the head and there was no injury mark on other parts of their bodies, reports our Narayanganj correspondent, quoting the doctor at Narayanganj General Hospital who conducted “primary” autopsies.
“Each of them was shot once in the head from behind,” said Dr Md Asaduzzaman, resident medical officer at the hospital.
Contacted, M Abdul Haque, officer-in-charge of Araihazar Police Station, said that on information from locals, they went to the spot in front of Baitul Najat Jame mosque close to Dhaka-Sylhet Highway and recovered the bodies early in the morning.
Police also recovered two locally made pistols and seized a private car from there.
He said the victims' heads were smashed, and that they were aged between 30 and 42.
Talking to this newspaper, Reshma Akter, wife of Lutfor, said her husband worked as a driver for the last 20 years.
She further said her husband had been missing since 1:00am on Saturday and that she filed a general dairy with Rampura Police Station at 2:00pm that day.
After watching a news report on TV, she went to Narayanganj General Hospital and identified Lutfor's body.
She claimed that her husband had not been accused in any case, and was not involved in politics.
Seeking anonymity, a resident of Panchrukhi area said four gunshots were heard early in the morning, and later it was known that four bodies were found in the area.
Alamgir Hossain, who runs a tea stall at nearby Bantibazar, said there were two police patrol teams within one kilometre of the spot.
Asked, Abdullah Al Mamun, additional superintendent of police in Narayanganj, said they were looking into the role of the patrol teams and things would become clear after investigation.
He further said they suspected that there was a clash between criminals or robbers as pistols were recovered from the spot.
However, the Araihazar OC said the victims could have been killed elsewhere and their bodies were dumped in Panchrukhi Paschim Para area.
The killers had smashed the victims' heads so that their identities could not be known, he said.
Police are investigating whether the dead had any links with gangs of robbers, added the official.
In the capital, the decomposed bodies of two unknown men were found in a field at sector-16 in Uttara area around 12:30am yesterday, said Nurul Muttakin, OC of Turag Police Station.
The bodies were sent to Suhrawardy Medical College morgue for autopsy.
The OC suspects the victims, aged between 30 and 35, were killed at some other place, and the killers then dumped their bodies in the field.
Morgue sources said they would be able to ascertain the cause of death of the victims, clad in T-shirts and jeans, after conducting some chemical tests on the decomposed bodies.
Talking to this newspaper, rights campaigner Nur Khan Liton said that many people suspect involvement of law enforcers in such killings, considering the similarities in a number of incidents in the past.
Without any investigation, they issue statements that the deaths resulted from gunfights between two groups. But in many cases, family members claimed the victims were picked up, Nur said.
“This issue could be resolved by conducting independent investigations and taking legal action against those responsible,” he added.
Md Omar Faruk, associate professor of criminology and police science at Mawlana Bhashani Science and Technology University, said such incidents could happen because of local political rivalry, conflicts among locals and attempts to cover-up extrajudicial killings.
“The state has to take responsibility for these incidents...,” Faruk added.
At least 243 suspected drug dealers and peddlers were killed since the nationwide anti-narcotics drive began on May 4.
Police claimed that of them, at least 50 were killed in gunfights between groups of drug dealers.