Four killed in 'shootouts'
Three alleged drug peddlers and one alleged robber were killed in separate “gunfights” with law enforcers in Jhenidah, Mymensingh and Gaibandha yesterday.
Of the alleged drug peddlers, two were killed in a so-called gunfight with Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) in Jhenidah, while the other one in a “gunfight” with police in Mymensingh.
In Jhenidah, the victims were identified as Sazzadur Rahman, 43, of Bagha Jatin road area; and Abdur Razzak, 34, of Udaypur.
Rab claimed they recovered two one-shutter guns, two rounds of bullets, 55 bottles of Phensedyl, and a motorbike from the spot.
Razzak's brother, Minto Hossain, said a woman called Razzak over the phone at around 5:00pm on Saturday.
After receiving the call, he went to meet the woman at the district bus terminal area and had been missing since then, he said, adding that his brother was a BNP activist.
Senior Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Golam Morshed, company commander of Rab-6 in Jhenidah, said they received information at around 3:00am that a group of drug traders were staying at a house in Pabhati village under Sadar upazila.
When Rab went to launch a drive there, the drug traders sensed their presence and tried to flee on a motorbike while shooting at the Rab officials, he claimed.
Sazzad and Razzak sustained bullet injuries during the 30-minute long “gunfight”, while the other fled the scene, ASP Morshed further claimed.
The two were rushed to Jhenidah Sadar Hospital where on-duty doctors declared them dead, he said, further adding that two Rab officials also received injuries during the “gunfight”.
In Mymensingh, alleged drug trader Faruque Mia, 32, of Teluari in Ishwarganj upazila, was killed in a “gunfight”.
On receiving information that a gang of drug traders were engaged in trading at Teluari, police raided the area at around 2:30am, said Ahmed Kabir Hossain, officer-in-charge (OC) of Ishwarganj Police Station, who led the team.
Sensing police presence, the drug peddlers started throwing brickbats and fired gunshots aimed at the police officials. Forced to retaliate, the police fired back and a “gun battle” ensued, he claimed
Faruque sustained bullet wounds and was immediately rushed to Mymensingh Medical College Hospital (MMCH) where doctors declared him dead, the OC added.
His body was sent to Mymensingh Medical College morgue for autopsy.
Police recovered 100 yaba pills, seven used bullets, a mobile phone and a sharp weapon from the spot, he claimed.
Faruque was wanted in some 11 narcotics-related cases, the OC alleged.
He added that four policemen-- Sub-Inspectors Safayet Hossain and Anwar Hossain, Assistant Sub-Inspector Khalilur Rahman, and constable Samiron Chandra Sarker-- were injured during the incident and were treated at Ishwarganj Upazila Health Complex.
A case was lodged with Ishwarganj Police Station in this regard.
With the inclusion of these deaths, the tally of drug-related killings in “shootouts” with police and Rab raised to 170 since anti-narcotics crackdown began in early May.
In Gaibandha, alleged robber Shamsul Huq, 38, of Bedkapa village in Palashbari upazila, was killed in a “gunfight” with police.
Khan Md Shahriar, OC of Gaibandha Sadar Police Station, said Shamsul was a member of a robbery gang, wanted in several criminal cases.
Based on information, a combined force of Gaibandha Sadar police and Sadullapur police raided Dholbhanga bazar area in Palashbari and arrested Shamsul from there on Saturday.
Based on Shamsul's statement, police, along with him, conducted a drive in his house to recover firearms and nab his cohorts at around 4:00am.
Afterwards, when they reached Shakoya bridge area, his gang members opened fire at the police officials to try and take him away.
In retaliation, police fired back. Shamsul sustained bullet injuries in “shootout” and his associates managed to flee, the OC claimed.
He also claimed that six policemen received injuries in the incident.
Critically injured, Shamsul was taken to Gaibandha Sadar Hospital where doctors declared him dead.
The injured cops were also admitted at the hospital while Shamsul's body was sent to the morgue for autopsy.
Shamsul was accused in 12 criminal cases which included robbery. He had been on-the-run and continuing criminal activities in different areas, said Abdullah-Al-Faruk, ASP in Gaibandha.
[Our Jhenidah, Mymensingh and Gaibandha correspondents contributed to this report]