One mugger killed, 6 others held in 2 days
Incidents of mugging are rising at an alarming rate in the port city of Chittagong for the past few days, with snatchers taking advantage of brisk Eid shopping.
Police have arrested a total of six muggers in the last two days from different points of Chittagong, while another snatcher was killed during a gunfight.
On Sunday night, a man accused in several robbery cases was killed in a reported gunfight with police in Chittagong.
The incident took place at Polo Ground area, under Kotwali police station in the port city, around 11:30pm.
The deceased is Md Monsur, 40, accused in four mugging cases lodged with different police stations in the city.
Confirming the matter, Officer-in-Charge of Kotwali police station Mohammad Mohsin said: "A mugger targeted passengers on CNG-run auto-rickshaws. The on-duty police patrolling in the area followed him. At one stage, he opened fire at the police.”
"The police fired back in self-defence, triggering a gunfight. Later, the body was recovered from the scene," he said.
The on-duty doctor declared him dead after he was brought to Chittagong Medical College Hospital, said the OC.
Roundup of muggers
On Sunday evening, patrolling police caught two muggers red-handed while they were snatching Tk20 lakh from a businessman, in the Buddhist temple area under Kotwali police station.
The muggers, who were identified as Saiful Islam, 26, and Iqbal Hossain, 35, intercepted a CNG-run auto-rickshaw and tried to mug the businessman.
On the same day, the police arrested two other snatchers from Darogahat By Lane under Sadarghat police station.
The arrestees were identified as Imran alias Sajal, 20 and Kawsar, 20, and had knives in their possession.
The investigation officer, Inspector Ruhul Amin of Sadarghat police station, said they have beefed up patrolling to check mugging in Ramadan.
"During primary interrogation, the arrestees from Darogahat By Lane confessed they were targeting the Eid shoppers," said the inspector.
Some of the muggers and robbers had come out from jail on bail a few days after their arrest, and engaged in crimes again.
Inspector Ruhul added: "Imran was arrested before, but he become involved with mugging again after coming out of jail on bail."
On Saturday, two more muggers were arrested with two knives from the city's New Market area under Kotwali police station.
Acting on a tip-off, a team from Kotwali police led by Sub-Inspector Ajharul Islam conducted a drive to arrest the muggers.
The arrestees were identified as Didarul Alam alias Ridwan, 49, and Abdul alias Kalu, 20. Didarul Alam alias Ridwan is accused in five cases, while Abdul alias Kalu is accused in two cases filed with the Bayezid, Bakalia and Kotwali police stations.
A fresh case under the Arms Act was lodged against the duo at Kotwali police station.
Police on alert
Mohammad Mohsin, officer-in-charge (OC) of Kotwali police station, told the Dhaka Tribune that muggers target the Eid shoppers and take away valuable and ornaments at knifepoint.
"Apart from mugging, snatchers are involved with various other criminal activities," said the OC.
According to information provided by Kotwali police station, a total of 23 muggers, including five women snatchers, were arrested between March 18 and May 19.
Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) Additional Commissioner Amena Begum said: "As you know, we have already taken initiatives to bring the entire port city under CCTV surveillance. We are conducting drives to arrest muggers and robbers on a regular basis."
"Recently, we arrested some 50 muggers. We have also requested people to seek police help when carrying a lot of cash," said the additional commissioner.
The railway, bus stations and commercial areas in the port city are considered safe havens for muggers.
The mugging-prone spots of the port city are: New Market, Reazuddin Bazar, Kotwali, Anderkilla, Kata Pahar, Jamalkhan, Kazir Dewri, MM Ali Road, Chatteshwari Road, Ashkar Dighirpar, Tiger Pass intersection, Dewan Hat, Agrabad, Colonel Hat, Chawkbazar, Gani Bakery square, Golpahar, Muradpur, Bahaddarhat, Oxygen intersection, No 2 Gate, GEC Circle and Shah Amanat Bridge circle.