Two suspected drug peddlers have been killed in separate incidents of “gunfights” in two districts.
So far, over 130 people, mostly suspected drug peddlers, have been killed across Bangladesh since the government launched a countrywide crackdown drive on narcotics in early last month.
In Comilla, suspected drug peddler Saddam Hossain, 36, was killed in a reported gunfight with police on the Koroibon road of Chauddagram upazila early Saturday.
A group of drug peddlers opened fire while police officials were trying to detain them as they (the drug peddlers) were carrying drugs, Md Abul Foysal, officer-in-charge of Chauddagram police station claimed.
In retaliation, police fired back, leaving Saddam critically injured.
Later, he was taken to Comilla Medical College Hospital, where on-duty doctors declared him dead.
The OC further said they recovered 200 bottles of phensidyl and a pipe gun from the scene.
Four policemen, including an assistant superintendent of police (ASP), were injured in the incident.
In Cox’s Bazar, suspected drug peddler Md Shahjahan, 30, was killed in a “gunfight” between two groups of drug peddlers in Chakaria upazila’s Baniyachhara hilly area the same day in the morning.
Acting on a tip-off, police reached the spot and recovered Shahjahan’s body, said Bakhtiar Uddin, officer-in-charge of Chakaria police station.
They also recovered 4,000 pieces of yaba, several guns, and bullets from the scene.
Shahjahan had been wanted in a number of cases, Bakhtiar added.
The anti-drug crackdown followed the directives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who recently ordered Rapid Action Battalion to continue its drives against drug abuse as this menace is spreading fast in society.
“We’ve been able to achieve huge successes by conducting drives against extremism and militancy. Now, such drives will have to continue against drug abuse,” she told the 14th founding anniversary of the elite paramilitary anti-crime taskforce on May 3.