The chief coordinator of banned militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) was killed in a “gunfight” with police in Shibganj upazila early yesterday.
Police identified the dead as Khorshed Alam alias Salim alias Master, 33, son of Abdul Khalek, of Ghonar Para village of Sarishabari upazila in Jamalpur.
Bogura police officials claim Salahuddin Ahmed alias Salehin is mainly the ameer of mainstream JMB. But, as he is believed to be hiding in India, Khorshed used to lead the Bangladesh chapter of the outfit.
As per the police records, he was the mastermind of killing blogger Shahjahan Bachchu and was the main planner of snatching three important JMB leaders from a prison van on February 23, 2014 at Trishal in Mymensingh.
“Alam was the most wanted JMB leader, who played a key role in organising the outfit,” said a high official of Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit. “We were looking for him for a long time.”
Acting on a tip off that some militants were holding a secret meeting in Pirab Tatipukur area, a team from Shibganj Police Station raided the spot around 1:30am. Sensing the presence of police, the alleged JMB men opened fire on them, forcing the law enforcers to return fire, said Sonatan Chakraborty, additional superintendent of police of Bogura Sadar circle.
At one stage, the alleged militants retreated and the police found a bullet-hit man, he added. They took him to Bogura Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College Hospital where doctors declared him dead, he said.
The police also recovered two firearms and three bullets from the spot. A case was filed with Shibganj police in this regard.
According to police records, Khorshed was the mastermind of writer and blogger Shahjahan Bachchu murder in Munshiganj on June 12, 2018. Besides, he was in charge of killing Pir (religious leader) Shahidul on May 7, 2016 at Tanore upazila in Rajshahi, said Bogura police chief Ali Ashraf Bhuiyan.
Khorshed was first arrested in Jamalpur in connection with an explosives case in September 2006 and was sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment. Primarily, he was in Jamalpur jail but was later shifted to Kashimpur jail where he spent around six years.
He walked out of Kashimpur jail in November 2013 after he had obtained bail from the High Court. Since then he was involved in JMB activities. Following the snatching of the three JMB men in Mymensingh, he came into the spotlight and became the supreme leader of JMB, police said.
SP Ali Ashraf told The Daily Star that Khorshed had a good link with Salahuddin and used to collect firearms and money from him for the outfit.
Police said Salahuddin was wanted in three cases filed against him with as many police stations in Jamalpur, Rangpur and Kurigram.