Three more people were killed in what the law enforcement called gunfights in two separate incidents in Kushtia and Lakshmipur early Wednesday.
Prothom Alo correspondents in the districts said two ‘top drug peddlers’ were killed in an alleged gunfight with the members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) in Mirpur upazila of Kushtia and a youth was killed in alleged gunfight in Singherpul of Charpata union in Raipur upazila of Lakshmipur.
According to the accounts of the law enforcers, the standard story line of the separate events is similar and which is: the gunfights ensued after the deceased and their cohorts opened fire on the law enforcers and the latter retaliated in their self defense when the law enforcers were conducting anti-narcotic drives.
Prothom Alo, however, could not verify the law enforcement’s version of the Kushtia killing independently as no version of it was available immediately either from any witness or from any member of the victim’s family.
But in case of Lakshmipur killing, the father-in-law of the killed youth alleged that the law enforcer’s version of the 'gunfight' was not true; rather the youth was arrested first and then killed in cold blood.
Kushtia correspondent said two ‘top drug peddlers’ were killed in an alleged gunfight with the members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) in Mirpur upazila of Kushtia early Wednesday.
The deceased are Futu alias Munna, 35, and Rassel Ahamed, 30. Bodies of the deceased are kept in morgue of the Kushtia General Hospital.
Futu and Rassel are enlisted as top drug peddlers by the narcotics control department and NSI (National Security Intelligence), said RAB-12 Kushtia camp’s commander and additional police superintendent Mohaimenur Rashid.
Rassel is an associate of Futu, he claimed.
According to the RAB, a team of the law enforcement carried out an anti-narcotic drive in Katdah area of the upazila.
Sensing presence of the RAB personnel, members of the drug trading gang opened fire on them, forcing the RAB members to retaliate that triggered a gunfight, the force claimed.
Two bullet-hit persons were found on the spot after the gun battle that continued for 20 minutes, Mohaimenur Rashid said.
The injured were taken to Kushtia General Hospital where physicians declared them dead, RAB added.
Two RAB men were also injured in the gun battle, said the RAB adding that a firearm, a one-shooter gun, two magazines, 12 rounds of bullets, 40 liters of liquor and 1,559 pieces of yaba tablets were recovered from the spot.
Deceased Munna and Rassel were accused in at least 10 cases, filed with several police stations in Kushtia, RAB said.
Raipur (Lakshmipur) correspondent said the killed youth, Sohel Rana aka Suraiya Sohel, 30 was killed in alleged gunfight barely 10 hours after he was arrested by police.
The police said Sohel was a fugitive criminal and was arrested from Jhumur cinema hall area of Lakshmipur Tuesday afternoon.
Police said the gunfight took place when they were conducting an anti-drug drive along with Sohel in an abandoned house in Singherpul early Wednesday.
Law enforcers said Sohel tried to escape and was injured by his own men. He was rushed to the Sadar hospital where physicians declared him dead, according to the claim of the law enforcers.
Sohel's father-in-law Md Shajahan, however, told Prothom Alo that the police’s version of the 'gunfight' was not true. “Rather Sohel was detained first and then killed in cool head,” Shajahan added.
Raipur police station officer-in-charge Azizur Rahman Miah claimed Sohel is an enlisted drug peddler.
The police official said Sohel is accused in some 22 cases in connection with murder, robbery and drug trade.