Four more suspected drug peddlers were killed in gunfights in Rangpur, Bogra and Mymensingh while two others were injured in Dinajpur early Tuesday as different organisations in Dhaka staged protests against ‘extrajudicial killings’ in the name of ‘gunfights’ during the ongoing anti-drug drive.
The latest incidents took to 140 the number of people killed in the anti-drug drive across the country in the past 22 days.
Besides, 17,157 suspected drug peddlers or abusers were arrested by the police and Rapid Action Battalion across the country during the drives.
The police arrested 13,464 suspects since May 18, the day they began the drive and the battalion arrested 3,693 since they began the drive on May 4, officials at the headquarters of the forces said.
Families of two victims in Mymensingh alleged that they were picked up by some people in plainclothes identifying them as members of Detective Branch from Mashkanda Sheba Drug Rehabilitation Centre on June 1, reported United News of Bangladesh.
On Tuesday, Dhaka Metropolitan Police raided the capital’s Shia Mosque, Banshbari and adjacent areas under Mohammadpur police station and arrested 12 suspected drug peddlers or addicts and seized 200 Yaba pills, metropolitan police officials said.
Socialist Party of Bangladesh held a rally in front of the National Press Club and brought out a procession demanding arrest of ‘real godfathers’, their punishment through trial and an end to extrajudicial killings in the name of gunfights.
‘The extrajudicial killings in the name of containing drugs cannot be accepted in any civilised and democratic country. Those who are killing human beings do not bother with law and judiciary, constitution and human rights, democratic culture and even social values,’ said party general secretary Khalequzzaman at the rally.
He asked why the investors and kingpins, especially a section of people involved in ruling party politics and law enforcing agencies, were not caught
He suspected whether the government’s anti-drug drive was meant for suppressing the political opponents.
Left organisation Ganasanghati Andolan-backed student organisation, Bangladesh Chhatra Federation, at a human chain in front of the National Museum, also protested against the ongoing ‘indiscriminate murders’ of unarmed people without any judicial process in the name of ‘anti-drug drive’.
They also alleged that the government had not touched the ‘drug lords’ inside the ruling party but carrying out the anti-drug drive which was nothing but a ‘farce’.
New Age correspondent in Rangpur, quoting assistant superintendent of police Saiful Islam, reported that suspected drug paddler Shajahan Hossain
alias Dabirul, 50, of village Chengtari under Kawnia upazila, also named in at 10 drugs related cases, was killed in a ‘gunfight’ with police at Chotopul Banupara of the upazilla early Tuesday.
The police officer said that they seized a pistol, sharp weapons, 126 Yaba tablets and 173 bottles of Phenesedyl from the spot.
In Mymensingh, police recovered the bullet-hit bodies of suspected drug peddlers Munna, 35, and Idris Ali, 45, of Charkalibari area under Sadar Dakhshin upazila from Brahmaputra rail bridge area in the
morning, New Age correspondent in the district reported, quoting
Kotwali police station officer-in-charge Mahmudul Islam.
Mymensingh district superintendent of police Syed Nurul Islam said that the two were killed in a ‘gunfight’ over enmity among the drug peddlers.
In Bogra, suspected drug peddler Rigan alias Liton, 32, of Chawk Sutrapur under Sadar upazila, also named in five drugs related cases, was killed in a ‘gunfight’ with the police in Matidhali intersection under the upazila at about 2:30am, UNB reported, quoting additional superintendent of police Sanatan Chakraborty.
In Dinajpur, two suspected drug peddlers – Alauddin alias Chika, 30, of Madhya Basudebpur under Hakimpur upazila and Lutfor Rahman, 42, of Danihair under Sadar upazila – sustained bullet injuries in ‘gunfights’ during anti-drug drive at Hakimpur and Sadar upazila respectively, said district police control room duty officer Sultana Yeasmin.
The two were admitted to M Abdur Rahim Medical College Hospital in Dinajpur, she said.