Killed in ‘gunfight’ with BGB, police reject drug suspect claim

Cumilla Correspondent | Update:

Alleged gunfight victim Prashanta Kumar Das. Photo: CollectedA local videographer, Prashanta Kumar Das, was killed in an alleged gunfight between a team of Border Guard Bangladesh and drug traders during an anti-drug drive near Bibir Bazar border in Cumilla early Sunday (28 June).

The BGB said Prashanta, from Mogltuli in the city, was a drug suspect but local police said he was neither a listed drug trader nor was there any case against him at the police station.

The deceased’s family alleged Prashanta was shot to death after being tortured for an entire day.

BGB-10 commander Lt Col Abu Mohammad Mohiuddin did not answer any phone call from Prothom Alo or answer the SMS sent to him in this connection.

BGB director general Maj Gen Md. Shafeenul Islam, however, on Sunday told newsmen at an event in Rajshahi that Prashanta was involved in drug dealing. “Otherwise how were yaba tablets found in his possession?” he asked.

BGB said the incident took place near the river Gumti dam in Sangraish of Cumilla Adarsha sadar upazila around 3:00am on 28 June.

The law enforcement claimed Prashanta was a drug trader and a smuggler. It also claimed to have recovered 2,185 yaba tablets from him.

Cumilla Kotwali Model police station officer-in-charge M Abu Salam Mia, however, said there was no case or GD or complaint against Prashanta with the police station.

Prshanta’s brother Shamu Chandra Das said a certain Nazmul Hasan from Housing Estate area of Cumilla called Prshanta from the house that day.

Around 3:30 in afternoon they were informed that Prashanta and Nazmul had been kept at Ekbalia BGB camp, adjacent to Lakshmipur of Cumilla Sadar Dakshin upazila and went there.

“The men at the BGB camp were taking photos of Prashanta and Nazmul. We were not allowed to talk to them. We again went there in evening but could not meet them. Later we went to BGB headquarters in Kotbari, Cumilla but were not allowed to enter there as well,” Shamu Chandra Das said.

The family claimed Prashanta had fallen all following the torture. He was shot in the head and killed, fearing he might die due to the torture, Prashanta’s family suspects.

“Prashanta used to shoot videos for various government and private events in Cumilla. We never heard anything bad about him,” said Prashanta’s cousin Shipon Chandra Das. Local people also said the same.

Former general secretary of Cumilla bar association, Syed Nurur Rahman termed the incident as extrajudicial killing.

Father of the 26-year-old Prashanta, Badal Chandra Das yesterday said, “I have five sons. The youngest one has been killed. The lives of my other sons might be in danger if I file a case for this murder. It’s better just to pray to the Almighty.”

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