The gunfight took place early Friday, just a day after law enforcement agencies arrested three people, including a former lawmaker, on the murder charges
One of the accused in Shahinuddin murder case has been killed in a reported gunfight with Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) in Dhaka's Mirpur area.
The gunfight took place early Friday, just a day after law enforcement members arrested three other people, including MA Awal, former lawmaker from Lakshmipur 1 constituency, on charges of the murder of Shahinuddin, a businessman.
The deceased is Md Manik, whom the law enforcers were searching for in connection with the murder.
Manik was the Accused No 5 in the murder case, said Md Mozammel Haque, RAB 4 commanding officer.
RAB sources said Manik was among two people who were seen in CCTV footage hacking 33-year-old Shahinuddin in broad daylight in Dhaka's Pallabi area recently in front of his child.
Acting on a tip-off that a group of criminals was staying in the Pallabi Eastern Housing area, a patrol team of the battalion conducted a drive there at around 2:30am, said the RAB official.
Sensing the presence of the law enforcement team, the group opened fire on RAB personnel, prompting the latter to retaliate, triggering a gunfight, he said.
The gunfight lasted around 10 minutes.
As the criminals retreated from the scene, the RAB members found a man lying on the ground with bullet wounds, he said.
A pistol along with two bullets was also recovered from the spot.
Police later identified the deceased as Manik and sent the body to a morgue for autopsy, the RAB official added.
Earlier, RAB conducted raids in Bhairab upazila of Kishoreganj and arrested former MP Awal in the early hours of Thursday. He is the prime accused in the case.
Besides, two other accused -- Md Sumon Bepari, 33, and Md Rocky Talukder, 25 -- were also apprehended by the Detective Branch (DB) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) in the capital city around the same time.
Speaking at a press briefing in Dhaka on Thursday, Commander Khandaker Al Moin, director of RAB's legal and media wing, said: "Sumon, after murdering Shahinuddin, called Awal and said – 'Sir, finished!' They talked for 30 seconds."
DMP Additional Deputy Commissioner (Media) Iftakhairul Islam said that Sumon had plotted the murder and led the team of assailants.
The law enforcement agencies arrested several accused in the case and are conducting raids to detain others.
On May 16, the accused called up Shahinuddin on his mobile phone and asked him to come to Mirpur 12 on the pretext of resolving a land dispute.
When the victim reached the area at around 4pm on the day, the assailants attacked him, hacking at him with sharp weapons and killing him in front of his seven-year-old son.
A murder case was filed with Pallabi police station on May 17 against several people, including Awal, Sumon and Rocky by the victim's mother Aklima Begum.
Aklima alleged that Awal killed Shahinuddin with hired miscreants after failing to occupy a piece of land, according to media reports.
In November last year, miscreants attacked Shahinuddin again, but the police did not arrest anyone in the incident, she said.
Rather, they arrested her son in a false case filed by Awal, she complained.
Shahinuddin was released on bail from jail days before he was killed, Aklima added.
Who is Awal?
MA Awal, chairman of Islami Ganatantrik Party, is a former secretary general of Bangladesh Tarikat Federation, and the managing director of Haveli Property Development Limited.
RAB sources say Awal has real estate and land businesses in the Pallabi area.
They said as a plot owned by Shahinuddin could not be taken into possession, he was killed by hired assailants, according to media reports.
During the January 5 general election in 2014, MA Awal got the ticket from the Awami League-led 14-party alliance and was elected as a member of parliament from Lakshmipur 1 constituency.
Before the 2018 general elections, he was relieved from the post of secretary general of Tarikat Federation and floated the Islami Ganatantrik Party.