2 Rohingyas among 3 killed in alleged gunfights

Prothom Alo English Desk | Update:

Prothom Alo IllustrationThree people were killed in separate incidents of what law enforcement called gunfights with them in Teknaf upazila of Cox’s Bazar and in Tarakanda upazila of Mymensingh early Friday.

Two of the deceased are Rohingyas.

In Cox’s Bazar, two Rohingya men were killed in a reported gunfight with members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) at Hinla Jaliapara in Teknaf upazila.

Deceased Dil Ahmed, 22 and Dost Muhammad, 19, from Maungdaw town in Rakhine state of Myanmar were drug peddlers, BGB claimed.

They were smuggling a consignment of yaba pills from Myanmar through Naf river during the incident around 1:30am, said Teknaf-2 BGB commander lieutenant colonel Mohammad Faisal Hasan Khan.

Acting on tip off, a special team of BGB from Hnila border outpost took position in the Jaliapara area around 1:30am. After a few while four-five yaba smugglers tried to cross the Bangladesh maritime boundary by a boat. The BGB team challenged them, the BGB commander said.

Two of the smugglers tried to flee jumping into the river while two-three of them suddenly opened fire aiming the BGB members, prompting them to shot back, triggering the gunfight, he added.

After around 12 minutes of exchanging gunshots a few men fled to Myanmar by the boat. The BGB members found two bullet-hit persons and took them to Teknaf Upazila Health Complex, where physicians declared them dead, Mohammad Faisal Hasan Khan said.

Three BGB members sustained injuries in the incident, he added.

Around 70,000 pieces of yaba tablets and one gun were recovered from the spot.

Teknaf Upazila Health Complex’s emergency department physician Shankar Chandra Debnath told Prothom Alo that BGB men brought five injured to the hospital at night. Two bullet-injured were in critical condition.

The injured BGB men were released after treatment around 10:00am today.

The law enforcement began the countrywide special anti-drug drive on 4 May in 2018. Since then, 165 including three women were killed in reported gunfights and other incidents with RAB, police and BGB men in Cox’s Bazar. Forty two of them are Rohingyas.

In Mymensingh, a man was killed in a ‘gunfight’ with police in Mokamiakanda area of Tarakanda upazila early Friday.

The deceased identified as Abdul Karim, 45, of Nalchapra village, was a drug trader, claimed district Detective Branch (DB) of police officer-in-charge Shah Kamal Akand.

Tipped off that some drug traders gathered in the area for trading, a team of police conducted a drive in the area around 2:30am, he said.

Sensing presence of the law enforcers, they opened fire on the policemen, forcing them to fire back in self-defence, he added.

After a brief gunfight, police rescued bullet-hit Karim from the spot while others managed to flee the scene.

Police took him to Mymensingh Medical College Hospital, where physicians declared him dead.

A policemen, Anwar Hossain sustained injuries in the incident.

He was wanted in 15 cases including 13 drug related ones, Shah Kamal said.

Police claimed to have one pipe gun and 200 grams of heroin from the spot.

According to a human rights body, Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), at least 421 people were killed in alleged gunfights, crossfires or shootouts with the law enforcement agencies in Bangladesh in 2018.

In the first eight months of 2019, the number of such killing was at least 264, the rights body said on its website.

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