Two detained suspected drug peddlers were killed in a reported gunfight with police at Rajarchara of Teknaf upazila in Cox’s Bazar and suspected drug peddler died in Rapid Action Battalion custody in Patuakhali on Friday.
The incidents took to 342 the death toll from the ongoing countrywide anti-drug drives since May 15, 2018.
Besides, the battalion in a raid on a camp of Urdu speaking people at Mohammadpur in Dhaka arrested over 91 suspected drug peddlers and seized huge amount of drugs.
The reported gunfight victims were Nur Mohammad, 40, of Nazir Para and Nurul Amin, 35, of Jaliapara of Teknaf and named in several drug related cases, police officials said.
In Cox’s Bazar, police arrested Nur Mohammad and Nurul Amin at Teknaf on Wednesday as they were named in several cases. A team of police, along with the two, raided Rajarchara at about 3:30am on Friday to arrest their cohorts, reported United News of Bangladesh, quoting Teknaf police station officer-in-charge Pradip Kumar Das.
Pradip said that the suspected peddlers, opened fire on the cops, forcing them to fire back in self-defence.
At one stage, Nurul Amin and Nur Mohammad were caught in the line of fire and died on the spot, he said.
Police also seized eight firearms, 20,000 Yaba pills and 10 cartridges from the spot.
New Age correspondent in Patuakhali reported that Md Shakil Khan, 28, of Ramanathsen village of Dashmina upazila, suspected to be a drug peddler, died in the battalion custody in Patuakhali early Friday, few hours after he was arrested by the battalion.
Battalion company commander at Patuakhali camp Shoyeb Ahamed Khan said that they arrested Shakil at Purba Alipur village at about 3:30pm on Thursday.
Shakil had some Yaba tablets in his pocket and he swallowed some of the tablets when the battalion personnel went to arrest him, he said.
After his arrest, the battalion team started for Patuakhali, but Shakil became sick on the way and the battalion admitted him to Baufal Upazila Health Complex where he died in the early hours of Friday.
Local people said some unidentified people held Shakil at about 3:30pm on Thursday and started torturing him.
As the local people approached, the unidentified men introduced them as battalion personnel.
Baufal Upazila Health Complex medical officer Akhtaruzzaman said that the battalion personnel brought Shakil to the hospital at about 11:15pm on Thursday saying that Shakil became sick after swallowing Yaba tablets.
Shakil could not talk to the doctor but he moved his head positively, the doctor said.
Measures were taken to wash Shakil’s stomach but he died, he said.
Shakil’s father Shah Alam declined to comment.
In Dhaka, battalion members began raided a camp of Urdu-speaking people at Mohammadpur at 5:45am, battalion officials said.
Inhabitants of the camp said that panic gripped the area when the battalion began the raid and a number of inhabitants, especially the male ones, tried to escape.
Battalion officials said that over 500 personnel of all the battalions in Dhaka and from the battalion headquarters as well as dog squad took part in the raid on the camp, known as a drug hotspot in Dhaka.
Battalion legal and media wing director Mufti Mahmud said that they arrested 91 people, including six women, for their suspected involvement in drug peddling and abuse.
He said that they also picked up several others who were released after interrogation.
He said that they seized 11,965 Yaba tablets, eight kilograms of hemp, 20 bottles of Phensedyle and 90 ampoules of injectable drugs in the raid.
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