3 wounded in ansar firing
At least three people, including a woman, were wounded as ansar members opened fire at a mob in the city's Swamibagh yesterday.
The ansar members, working for Rupayan Real Estate Company, went into the violent action following an altercation with the local slum dwellers over construction of a wall on a disputed land near Mitali School in the area under Sutrapur Police Station.
Injured Ripon Miah, 25, received two bullets in his abdomen and back while Kulsum Begum, 50, one in her hand and her husband Abu Taher, 65, one in his abdomen, police said.
They were admitted to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), and the condition of Ripon was stated to be critical.
Witness Dolly Begum said the ansar men picked up Ripon alleging that he damaged a portion of the under-construction wall and later beat him up before shooting him. Taher and his wife Kulsum received bullets as the ansar men sprayed bullets at the mob that came to protest the attack on Ripon at around 8:30am, she said.
They also beat up other slum dwellers, including women, with their rifle butts and bamboo sticks, other witnesses said.
Ansar members said they opened fire as the slum dwellers attacked them.
"Opening fire was excessive on the part of the ansar members," Nazrul Islam, officer-in-charge (OC) of Sutrapur Police Station told The Daily Star.
He also raised question over the legality of the ansar camp saying that law does not allow deployment of ansar members on disputed land.
One Bina Chowdhury and another Asif Chowdhury are the claimers of the same piece of land. There are at least 15 shanties set up on a portion of the land by Bina Chowdhury while Asif Chowdhury leased out the remaining portion to Rupayan Real Estate Company that set up the ansar camp.
The camp members, however, were withdrawn soon after the incident and another team was deployed. Police were also deployed. Despite repeated attempts, neither Bina nor Asif was available for comments.
Ripon's brother Saiful Islam filed a case against the ansar team for firing at the mob while the platoon commander of ansar filed another case on charges of attacking them with the Sutrapur Police Station.