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Dhaka Tribune

War on drugs: 2 killed in Mymensingh ‘gunfight’

So far, 143 suspected drug peddlers have been killed since the launching of the anti-narcotics drive in May

Update : 12 Jun 2018, 11:07 AM

Two men, branded drug dealers by law enforcement, have been killed in an alleged gunfight with the Detective Branch (DB) of police in Mymensingh city.

They have been identified as Anowar Hossain alias Anar, 38, and Rony Mia, 30. DB says both men were accused in narcotics cases.

The DB claimed to have recovered 1,750 pieces of contraband yaba pills and a foreign made pistol from the site after a skirmish with “drug dealers” at Kalibari Lane around 2am on Tuesday.

It is believed that 143 people, including Anowar and Rony, have been killed and thousands detained during the government-backed crackdown on narcotics launched last month, which has been marred by allegations of human rights abuse.

Mymensingh DB’s Officer-in-Charge Ashiqur Rahman claimed that their team raided the Kalibari Lane after being tipped off that “several drug dealers were sharing the illegal merchandise among themselves in front of an abandoned building.”

The drug dealers first hurled chunks of bricks at law enforcement officials and then opened fire, prompting the DB team to return fire in self defence, the OC claimed.

Anowar and Rony, hit by bullets, were found lying at the spot after the skirmish, while the other peddlers managed to flee, he said. 

They were taken to the Mymensingh Medical College Hospital where the doctors pronounced them dead. Two DB members were also injured in the alleged gunfight.

Families of many victims have accused Bangladeshi law enforcement of taking advantage of the ongoing drive by extorting money from people in exchange for not including them in the list of drug dealers.

The killing of former Teknaf municipality councillor Ekramul Haque in an alleged gunfight in Cox’s Bazar on May 26, and the subsequent release of four call records by the victim’s wife, where a man’s dying cries are heard following two gunshots, have raised serious questions about the ongoing anti-narcotics drive.

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