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7 killed in ‘gunfights’, 5 bullet-hit bodies recovered in 10 months in Jhenaidah; victims are Jamaat & Chhatrashibir activists
Thursday, 27th October, 2016

Seven people were killed in what the police called gunfight and five other bodies with bullet wounds were recovered in the last ten months in the country’s south-western district of Jhenaidah.

Apart from these, the bodies of two people were recovered after they died in a reported road accident-one under the wheels of a train and the other under a bus.

Twelve of the total 14 victims of either extra-judicial killing or reported accidents are the members of an opposition political party, Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami.

Although the law enforcement agencies claimed that they were killed in shootouts with them, the family members of most of the victims said they were picked up by law enforcers before they were killed in gunfire.

Of late, two Jamaat leaders were killed in a ‘gunfight’ with the police in Jhenaidah. The police claimed that the gunfight took place in the early hours of Tuesday morning on the Jhenaidah-Magura highway in Bhutiargati.

The families of the two Jamaat leaders said the victims were picked up by a group of people identifying themselves as members of police’s Detective Branch (DB) several days ago.

They are: Jhenaidah municipality Jamaat ameer Zahurul Islam, 42, son of Shamsher Ali Molla of Water Development Board Colony of the town and Jamaat activist Tareque Hasan, 40, son of late Abdul Latif of sadar upazila’s Ramchandrapur village. Tareque Hasan was a herbal physician.

According to the claim of Jhenaidah additional superintendent Azbahar Ali Sheikh, a patrol team tried to stop three motorcycles on the road around 4:00am for their suspicious movements.

The challenged bike riders opened fire and hurled crude bombs at the police, prompting them to retaliate, triggering a gunfight, the police officer claimed.

He said the motorcyclists were suspected to be going to somewhere to carry out saboteur acts.

However, Zahurul’s brother-in-law Lokman Hossain said a group of people identifying themselves as DB members detained Zahurul on 7 September from Jhenaidah town’s Alhera area and since theh he has been missing.

Tareque’s paternal cousin Faruk Hossain said members of the police detained Tareque on 13 September night from Arabpur area and he has also been missing since then.    

Earlier on 30 July, a man named Ramzan Ali, 46, was killed in an alleged gunfight in Katakhali of district’s Moheshpur upazila.

The police claimed that Ramzan Ali was a member of a robber gang.

An activist of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami’s student wing Bangladesh Islami Chhatra Shibir, Saiful Islam, was killed in an alleged ‘shootout’ with police in Aruakandi graveyard area of Jhenaidah sadar upazila on 18 July.

Before that, two Shibir leaders-Shahid Al Mahmud and Anisur Rahman-were killed in what the police called an encounter on 24 June in Tentulbaria village of the sadar upazila.

On 25 June, former president of Jhenaidah town’s Shibir unit Ibnul Islam Parvez was killed in a reported gunfight in the town’s Madhupur graveyard area.

The bodies of Jhenaidah’s Kaliganj municipality unit Shibir president Abu Jar Giffari and a Shibir activist Shamim Hossain were recovered from Joradah village’s playground in sadar upazila of the nearby district of Jessore on 13 April.

The family members claimed that they were picked by people identifying themselves to be DB men.

The bullet-ridden body of a Shibir activist of Ishwarba village of the district’s Kaliganj upazila, Sohanur Rahman, was recovered from Chuadanga. He was also picked up by DB member impersonators.

The body of a Jhenaidah madarsa teacher, Abu Huraira, also a Jamaat activist, was recovered from Jessore on 29 February this year.

The bullet-hit body of another Shibir activist, Jasim Uddin, was recovered from Hingerpara village on 4 March. The family members of the victims alleged that Abu Huraira was picked up earlier by DB member impersonators while Jasim Uddin was picked by a group of people claiming to be members of police.

Besides, the body of a certain Shariful Islam of Jessore’s Shasthitala village was found at Kaliganj’s Fulbari railway gate on 2 February. His body had been severed by train wheels while the superintendent of a Harinakundu madrasa, Panna Hujur, died in road accident in August.

But family members of both of the victims claimed that Shariful was picked up by people claiming to be DB men while Panna was detained by police impersonators a week before the incidents of the killing.

One injured in Kaliganj ‘gunfight’:

A man named Nasir Uddin, 50, was injured in what the police called a gunfight on Barobazar-Taherpur road in Dhopadi area of district Kaliganj upazila in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The police claimed Nasir to be a member of an inter-district robbery gang, but Nasir who is now undergoing treatment at a local hospital said he is a truck driver and alleged the police shot him in his leg.

In order to prove his claim of being a truck driver, Nasir said he was elected twice as the road secretary of Kaliganj-Kotchandpur and Moheshpur Motor Sramik Union.

Barobazar police outpost sub-inspector Nazrul Islam binned Nasir allegation. The police officer claimed that Nasir was wanted in several cases.      

Information Source: Prothom Alo