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Five lives lost just for a canal

50 injured as spear-wielding villagers clash over the water body in Kishoreganj

Five people, including three brothers, were killed and around 50 others injured as rival groups from two neighbouring villages clashed over control of a canal in Kishoreganj's Mithamoin yesterday.

The dead are Ferdous Mia, 55, Makhon Mia 42, Masum Mia, 35, sons of Abdul Aziz of Paschim Hati village, and Rajib Mia, 28, Makbul Mia, 30, of Charigram village.

Police and locals said there has been a longstanding dispute between the groups over the canal, which falls between the two villages. The members of the groups had clashed several times before and also filed cases against each other.

One of the sides is led by Pallab Mia of Paschim Hati village and the other by Maruf Mia of Charigram.

Around 12:30pm yesterday, the groups, armed with spears, swooped on each other near Charigram Bazar, leaving four dead on the spot and the others injured. Makbul died on his way to hospital, added police and locals.

Among the injured, Rifaqul Islam, 25, Tufazzal Islam, 38, and Kalam Mia, 48, were in critical condition. They were admitted to Kishoreganj Sadar General Hospital. The other injured were sent to Mithamoin Health Complex and given first aid.

Contacted, Maruf Mia said, "Two of the deceased -- Rajib and Makbul -- were from his group while the other three belonged to the group headed by Pallab."

He claimed that Rajib was attacked by the rival group without any provocations as he went near the canal yesterday morning. "The clash ensued when my men went to the spot to protest the incident." 

Pallab could not be reached for comments. His mobile phone was switched off.

Majibur Rahman, chairman of Dhaki union, said they tried to settle the issue several times before but in vain.

Alamgir Hossain, officer-in-charge of Mithamoin Police Station, said they recovered the bodies and sent them to Kishoreganj Sadar General Hospital morgue for autopsies.

Additional law enforcers were deployed in the villages to avert anymore untoward incident, he said.

No case was filed and no one was arrested till last night.

 "We are investigating," the OC added.