As ‘gunfights’ between the law enforcers and alleged criminals reportedly increased in recent days, nine more people were killed early hours of Monday.
According to UNB, the victims of gunfights are eight suspected drug peddlers.
They were killed in separate ‘gunfights’ with law enforcers in Chuadanga, Rajshahi, Narsingdi, Jhenaidah, Tangail, Jashore, and Gazipur districts early Monday.
With the latest ones, a total of 29 people were killed in ‘gunfights’ across the country since 12 May. The home minister, Asaduzzaman Khan, said the government would show zero tolerance to the drug traffickers.
UNB reports: In Chuadanga, Jonab Ali, 32, son of Jamat Ali, a resident of Uthali village in Jibannagar upazila and a listed drug trader was killed in a reported gunfight with police around 12:45am.
Mahmud Hossain, officer-in-charge of Jibannagar police station, said when a patrol team of police reached in an area adjacent to a field, a gang of drug traders numbering 10/12 opened fire on police, prompting them to retaliate, triggering the gunfight.
At one stage, when the ‘gang members’ fled the scene, they recovered the body of Jonab from the spot.
Sub-inspector Milon, two constables Walid Rahman and Jewel Hossain were also injured in the gunfight. Police recovered a short-gun, two cartridges, three machetes and a sack of Phensedyl from the spot.
In Rahshahi, a ‘listed drug trader’ Liakat Ali Mandal, 40, accused in seven drug cases, from Namajgram village in Puthia upazila was killed in a reported gunfight with members of Rapid Action Battalion in Khurdo Jamira area under Belpukur thana of the city around 12:30am.
Major Asraful Islam, deputy commanding officer of RAB-5, said a gang of drug traders attacked a patrol team of RAB and opened fire on them, prompting them to retaliate, triggering the gunfight.
Liakat received bullet when he tried to flee the scene riding on a motorcycle and died on the spot.
Later, the elite force recovered 823 pieces of yaba tablets, a foreign pistol with two round bullets and the motorcycle.
In Narsingdi, a ‘listed drug trader’, Iman Ali, a resident of Kauria para of the district town, was killed in a reported gunfight with members of Rapid Action Battalion in Ghorashal toll plaza area of Palash upazila around 4:00am.
Company commander Jasim Uddin confirmed the incident adding that two RAB members were also injured.
In Jhenaidah, a suspected drug trader Mohammad Sabdul Islam, 45, son of late Mohammad Ali, was killed in a reported gunfight with RAB around 1:30am.
RAB members said that a team of elite force set up a check post in the area as part of regular patrol. They signalled a motorcycle while it was passing by the check post.
Ignoring the signal, the rider opened fire on the elite force, prompting them to retaliate, triggering the gunfight, which left Sabdul dead on the spot.
They also recovered one pistol, two bullets, one magazine, 100 bottles of Phensedyl and cash Tk 1100.
In Tangail, a suspected drug trader Abul Kalam Azad Khan, 42, son of late Abdur Rahman Khan, a resident of Purbo Pakutia of Ghatail upazila, and also accused in five cases, was killed in a so-called gunfight with members of Rapid Action battalion in a brick field area of Deula Bari around 12:00am.
The elite force recovered a foreign pistol, three bullets, one magazine, 100 bottles of Phensedyl and 1500 pieces of yaba tablets from the spot, said Rabiul Alam, commander of CPC-3 of RAB-12.
Besides, assistant sub-inspector Hamidul Islam and Nayek Anisur Rahman were injured in the gunfight. In Jashore, police recovered three bullet-hit bodies of suspected drug traders from Kholadanga and Taraf Noapara area around 2:00am.
AKM Azmal Huda, officer-in-charge of Kotwali police station, said the drug traders were killed in separate gunfights between two groups of drug traders.
Police also recovered arms, Phensedyl and yaba from the spots.
In Gazipur, suspected drug trader Rezaul Islam alias Besoti Rony, son of Hafizul Islam of Ershadnagar area of Tongi, and also an accused in 15 cases, was killed in a reported gunfight with police in Tongi around 3:00am.
Kamal Hossain, officer-in-charge of Tongi model police station, said a team of police a conducted drive in the area following a tip-off.
Sensing the presence of law enforcers, the drug traders opened fire on them, forcing them to retaliate, triggering the gunfight. Rony was caught in the line of fire and died on the spot.
The law enforcement’s version of these events was, however, not verified independently as no version of the incident was available immediately either from any witnesses or from any members of the victim’s family.