Over the years, Chanpara has become a 'safe' area for drug dealing. The area is also a 'favourite' for drug addicts. There are also arrangements to take drugs in several houses here. Narayanganj district police have identified a total of 114 such places for drug consumption.
An anti-drug committee was formed in Chanpara to stop drug dealings and hangouts of drug addicts in the area. However, four people in important positions of this committee are directly involved in the drug trade. Rashedul Islam alias “City Shaheen”, the member secretary of the committee, was killed in a ‘gunfight’ with Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) last Thursday. He was accused in 23 cases, including murder and drug-related cases.
According to the police, Raju Ahmed alias Raja, the convenor of the committee is an identified drug dealer. He has several murder cases against him. Besides, two joint secretaries of the committee, Fahad Ahmed and Swapan Bepari, are also enlisted drug dealers.
Chanpara falls under the ward no. 9 of Kayetpara union parishad in Rupganj of Narayanganj. According to police and the locals, UP member of this ward, Bajlur Rahman formed this 35-member antidrug committee last November. Bajlur Rahman is a member of Rupganj upazila Awami League. He is the ‘leader’ of the drug dealers according to the locals. His son-in-law Md Ripon is also accused in drug cases. Ripon is currently in prison after getting arrested in last October.
Prothom Alo tried in several ways to reach UP member Bazlur Rahman for his comment regarding the allegation of patronising the drug dealers. He was not in his office or at home on Saturday. Even his phone was switched off.
Drug dealers' photo with public representatives
There is a temporary arch at the entry of Chanpara by road. There are pictures of drug dealer Raju with several public representatives, including Bajlur Rahman on the arch. There are countless posters and banners on the walls along the road in Chanpara. There are photos of drug dealers with the public representatives even in these posters and banners. Several banners and festoons also contain photos of Shaheen, who was killed in a ‘gunfight’ with the RAB last week. The locals say it was the drug peddlers who hung those posters for exposure.
Speaking to Prothom Alo, Kayetpara UP chairman Zahed Ali said, “I don’t know anything about the banners and festoons. I don’t know how the anti-drug committee was formed either.”
“Chanpara is a den of drug dealers and addicts. I don’t go there due to the pain of the drug dealers. I don’t hold any meetings or rallies there,” he added.
Chanpara in discussion again
Chanpara came into limelight again after BUET (Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology) student Fardin Nur’s body was recovered from the area and Shaheen’s death in ‘gunfight’.
According to the police investigation, Fardin’s last location was Chanpara before being killed. On 7 November, police recovered his body from the Shitalakkhya three days after he went missing. The locals said Bajlur Rahman left the area after these two incidents.
A rehabilitation centre ( was constructed on 126-acre land along the Balu and Shitalakkhya river in 1974. The police say this area like an island has become a safe-house for the criminals. The confluence of the Shitalakkhya and Balu river is on the southern side of Chanpara. It is surrounded by the Balu river from the west, Shitalakkhya from the east and a canal from the north. Around 100,000 people live in Chanpara.
Prothom Alo spoke to 12 local residents on Saturday. On condition of anonymity they said that along with drug dealers, drug addicts also come to Chanpara. There are arrangements for them to consume drugs after buying in certain houses in the area by spending 200 to 500 taka. However, after the death of ‘City Shaheen’ in a gunfight, the movement of drug addicts in the area has decreased.
Abir Hossain, senior assistant superintendent of police in Narayanganj, told Prothom Alo apart from the drug dealers, people involved in several crimes, including ‘malam party’, ‘ogyan party’, mugging and robbery, live in Chanpara. Due to the dense population and numerous lanes, it is difficult to conduct raids there. They often attack the members of the law enforcement agencies.