Bhanga upazila parishad complex, Faridpur
Bhanga upazila parishad complex, FaridpurProthom Alo

The Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) of Bhanga upazila in Faridpur, Rakibur Rahman Khan, bought himself a new shotgun for security reasons. He had bought it two days ago, but hadn’t tried it out. Then on Sunday night at around 10:00pm, he fired four test shots on the banks of the pond of his official resident at the upazila complex. The people of the area panicked at the sound of shooting and police rushed to the spot.

UNO Rakibur Rahman confirmed the incident, telling Prothom Alo that he had bought the shotgun in Dhaka two days ago, but the shop didn’t have any facilities to test it. That was why at 10:00pm Sunday night he fired four shots by the pond to try it out. Questions arose as to why he hadn’t tried it out when purchasing it, rather than at the premises of his residence.

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According to the Section 29 (B) of the firearms licence and use policy, bullets can be used for test firing at the time of purchase and repair of a firearm, for self defence and for target practice. A maximum of 5 bullets can be used for test firing.

According to the home ministry rules, test firing can be carried out when purchasing a new gun and the agency selling the gun will provide a certificate in this regard. According to the rules, the test firing must be carried out in the shop. There is no provision to try it out at home. It is also said in the rules that the firearm cannot be displayed in such a manner that creates fear or disturbance among others.

Joint secretary of Faridpur District Rifles Club, Sajjad Hossain, told Prothom Alo that a gun must be tested at the shop at the time of purchase. All gun shops must have specific places for testing the firearms. When buying the gun, the hammer, firing pin, magazine, the system of loading and unloading the gun, all must be checked at the shop. There is no provision to test the gun outside. That would be unlawful.

Officer-in-charge (OC) of Bhanga police station, Shafiqur Rahman, said four gunshots were heard at the UNO’s official residence at around 10:00pm Sunday. Panic spread through the area. He said sub-inspector (SI) Showkat Hossain to the spot.

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SI Shawkat Hossain said, he went to the spot but could not meet or speak to the UNO. He spoke to the armed ansar who was in charge of the security of the UNO’s residence. The ansar, Aminur Rahman, told him that the UNO had bought the gun two days ago and went to the pond to try it out. SI Shawkat Hossain filed a general diary (GD) at the Bhanga police station in this connection.

Addition superintendent of police of the Bhanga circle, Gazi Rabiul Islam, said he sent police to the spot as soon as he heard of the incident. The police filed a GD that very night.

UNO Rakibur Rahman Khan said, “I bought a new shotgun. I can shoot five bullets to test it out. I shot four bullets into the pond. The home ministry regulations allow blank fire to test out a gun after purchase. I have not done anything outside of the law.”