At least 15 more are killed as the countrywide anti-drug crusade continues to draw more blood, mounting a heap of 123 bodies in the last 16 days.
In today’s fresh count, obtained from post-midnight incidents, five were said to have been killed in “infighting of the drug gangs” while the others in conventional “gunfights”.
As our correspondents and agencies report, these so-called drug peddlers were killed through Dhaka, Cox’s Bazar, Chittagong, Comilla, Narail, Chuadanga and Sirajganj.
In Dhaka, three persons including Ataur Rahman alias Ata, a listed drug peddler of Savar, was killed in Bhasantek at the wee hours, said a text message from Rapid Action Battalion (Rab).
Arms, ammunition and a huge stash of drugs were seized from them, the text said.
In Cox's Bazar, Mujibur Rahman, 42, was killed near Kabitachattar point sea beach around 12:00 am, our local correspondent reports quoting Company Commander Major Ruhul Amin of Rab 7 camp in Cox’s Bazar.
“Mujibur Rahman, a top drug dealer from Netrokona was killed as a gunfight ensued between Rab and the drug dealers who were positioned at the Kabitachattar point” Major Ruhul Amin told our correspondent.
A total of 6,000 Yaba tablets, a shutter gun, five bullets and four bullet shells were recovered from the spot.
“The body was sent to Cox’s Bazar District Sadar Hospital for postmortem” said Officer-in-Charge Farid Uddin Khandakar of Cox’s Bazar Sadar Model Police Station.
In Chittagong, two alleged drug peddles were killed in two separate "gunfights" in the port city and Sitakunda upazila today.
Ishak, 37, was killed at Pologround area in the city around 12:30am,said Deputy Director (DD) Lieutenant Commander Ashequr Rahman of RAB-7. Ishak was wanted in 19 cases including cases of murder. 4,000 pieces of Yaba tablets, bullets, cartridges and one shutter gun were recovered from the spot, UNB adds.
Meanwhile, law enforcers recovered the body of an alleged drug peddler, Rajib Hossain, 25, following a reported gunfight with his cohorts at Gulgular Bazar in Chhoto Darogar Haat area of Sitakunda upazila around 9:30am, police said.
Hossain was also an accused in a case filed in connection to the killing of two Tripura girls in the district, our Chittagong university correspondent reports quoting Md Iftekhar Hassan, officer-in-charge (OC) of Sitakunda Police Station.
Hossain is the son of Md Hanif hailing from Chaudhurypara in Sitakunda municipality, the OC said.
Hossain's body bears several bullet wounds, police said.
His body was sent to the Chittagong Medical College Hospital for an autopsy after his parents identified it, the police official added.
In Comilla, Rosmat Ali, 40, was killed at Laribagh in Burichang upazila around 12:45am, UNB reports quoting Manoj Kumar, OC of Burichang Police Station. Rosmat was wanted in seven cases filed under Narcotics Control Act.
Police recovered one cartridge, a pipe gun and 40kg hemp from his possession. Three policemen were injured in the incident.
In Narail, one Sajib, was killed at Malibagh in the suburb area of the district town, UNB reports quoting Mehedi Hasan, senior assistant superintendent of Narail police.
One shutter gun, a sharp weapon and some drug items were recovered from the spot.
In Chuadanga, Tanjil Hossain, 40, a top drug trader and an accused of 12 cases, was killed at Satgari Natunpara in the municipality area around 3:00am, said Abdul Khalek, officer-in-charge of Sadar Police Station.
Law enforcers also recovered one shutter gun, four bullets and 170 bottles of phensidyl from the spot.
Tanjil’s cousin Akram Hosain claimed that they heard Tanjil was arrested by plainclothes on Monday night from Bostapatti area of Chuadanga town. “Since then we had no communication with him,” he said.
In Jessore, two suspected drug peddlers were killed in a “gunfight” between two rival gangs of drug peddlers at Boro Achra, Benapole, around 4:00am, said Apurba Hasan, OC of Benapole Port Police Station.
One of the deceased was identified as Liton Mia, 42. 10kg cannabis, one pistol, two bullets and shells of bullets were recovered from the spot. Liton was a listed drug peddler and he stood accused in several cases.
In Magura, three suspected drug dealers were killed in gunfight between two groups of drug peddlers at Batikadanga in Sadar upazila around 2:00am, said Md Rezwan, superintendent of district Police.
They are-Bacchu Chopdar, 55, Raihan Dhali, 30, and Kishore Odhikari, 43. 320gm heroin, 1kg cannabis, six bottles of phensidyl, six bullets and eight bullet shells were recovered from the spot.
Raihan and Kishore were accused in 10 narcotics-related cases each and Bacchu was wanted in seven such cases.
In Sirajganj, alleged drug peddler Ahsan Habib, 45, was killed in Kamarkhand upazila, Md Sakibul Islam, commander of Rab-2, Sirajganj camp, said.
The deceased was said to be a listed drug peddler and wanted in seven cases. Rab recovered a shutter gun, 20 bottles of phensidyl, and 1,000 pieces of yaba pills at the spot.
Three Rab personnel were also hurt during the gunfight, the Rab official said.
ASK deeply concerned, condemns killings
Rights body Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) today expressed its concern and condemned the shootout spree that has claimed the lives of over a hundred people in last 15 days in the ongoing anti-narcotics drives.
“The deaths of such a huge number of people in such a short span time are not acceptable,” ASK said in a press release.
Citing media reports, ASK said 119 people have been killed in the so-called gunfights and around 10,000 people have been apprehended during the ongoing clampdown.
Every citizen is entitled to get justice according to the constitution and international human rights charters, therefore the offenders must be tried though legal process not by law enforcing agencies, the release said.