Shibir man killed in 'shootout'
An arrested Shibir activist was killed in a “shootout” between Mirpur police and his cohorts in the capital's Rupnagar area late Saturday night.
Emdadullah, 22, was a second-year student of statistics department of Dhaka College.
He was the president of ward-93 Shibir unit, said Shibir in a press release.
However, the victim's family claimed that police had called the deceased Emdadullah's brother to verify that he indeed was a leader of Islami Chhatra Shibir before killing him.
Police claimed that Emdad was killed in a "gunfight" during a drive to "recover arms and petrol bombs" after his arrest on Saturday.
Emdad's brother Anwarullah told The Daily Star that a person identifying him as Sub-Inspector Kamal called him over mobile phone around 7:45pm Saturday and asked whether Emdad was his brother. The person also enquired about Anwar's occupation and Emdad's involvement in Shibir.
Anwar said he worked for Islami Bank and denied Emdad being a Shibir activist. The person on the other end of the line took Anwar's occupation as a sign of Emdad being involved in Shibir, said the brother.
"Oh yes! Then it is right [Emdad being involved in Shibir]," was the respond of the “SI” before he hung up, said Anwar. The man did not receive any calls after that, he said.
"Being confirmed about his identity, police killed him and cooked up the story of a gunfight to cover up the murder," the brother alleged.
Morgue sources said three bullets had pierced through the chest of the body.
Mirpur police claimed that Emdad was killed in a "gunfight" between police and his cohorts at Beribadh area in Rupnagar when he was taken there to "recover arms and petrol bombs".
"A team of police, led by SI Kamal Hossain, arrested Emdad at Mirpur-10 area in possession of two petrol bombs and some petrol in a two-litter water bottle around 7:30pm on Saturday. Following his information, the team raided a home at Mirpur-2 and arrested 12 Shibir men an hour later," said SI Minarul Islam of Mirpur Police Station.
When, the team, taking Emdad with them, conducted another drive in Rupnagar area, they came under petrol and crude bomb attack by a group of Jamaat-Shibir men. They also fired shots at police sparking a gunfight around 11:15pm, which left Emdad dead, he claimed.
Police said SI Kamal and a constable received shrapnel injuries.
When asked about the phone call to Anwar, SI Kamal said he did not call anyone and could not remember if he had received any such calls.
With this, 11 people, including three leaders of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal and three Jamaat-Shibir men, were killed in such “gunfights” across the country since the BNP-led 20-party alliance started enforcing the nationwide indefinite blockade on January 6.
According to rights body Ain O Salish Kendra, at least 49 people were killed in "gunfights" after their arrests by the law enforcement agencies last year.
Talking to The Daily Star at Dhaka Medical College Morgue, Hedayetullah, brother of the dead, said, "Police picked up and killed him in a planned way. My brother could have been punished under existing laws, if he had committed any crime."