JOINT FORCES DRIVE
6 killed in 2 daysStaff Correspondent
Six people were killed in drives of joint forces of the police, the Rapid Action Battalion and the Border Guard Bangladesh against ‘anarchists’ that rampaged through Satkhira and Lakshmipur in the past two days.
Two Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir activists were killed in the drives in Satkhira Monday and Jamaat activists hacked to death an Awami League leader amid the drive on Tuesday.
Two people were killed during a drive of the battalion in Lakshmipur on Sunday and two more people who had been missing since the drive were found dead on Tuesday.
The New Age correspondent in Satkhira said Shibir activists Jahangir Morol of Satani and Sayeb Babu of Shialdanga were killed during joint forces operation in search of activists of Jamaat and Shibir early Monday and Jamaat men hacked Awami League leader Moslem Ali at Mukundamadhusudanpur of Kaliganj in Satkhira Tuesday morning amid the drives of joint forces.
The joint forces carried out drives in the strongholds of Jamaat in the district early Monday.
Jamaat people tried to put up resistance against the drive by keeping logs on the road. As the joint forces proceeded after removing the logs, Jamaat activists exploded crude bombs into them and the law men fired gunshots. Jahangir Morol, who was wounded with bullets, died on the spot and Sayeb Babu died at Shialdangi.
Sayeb’s father Ilias Sardar claimed that Sayeb had sustained injuries after falling down as he was running away at the sight of law enforcers.
During the drive, houses of district unit Jamaat amir Abdul Khaleque Mandal and his son-in-law Habibur Rahman were vandalised and burnt, the correspondent said.
Immediately after a drive at Bishnupur of Kaliganj, Jamaat activist hacked to death Chachai union Awami League president Moslem Ali when he was returning home on Tuesday morning.
The Jamaat activists chased his motorcycle and it overturned at Mukundamadhusudanpur. As he fell down, Jamaat men hacked him to death on the spot, additional superintendent of police Mir Monir Hossain said.
He suspected that Jamaat men had killed Moslem as he had helped the law enforcers during the drive. The police recovered the body.
The joint forces drive began Saturday night against Jamaat and its student organisation Shibir on a decision of the home ministry with the arrest of 16 activists.
Besides the drive, the administration bulldozed the house of the Satkhira district unit Jamaat amir Abdul Khaleque and later local people set it on fire. The local people also vandalised and burnt some 15 houses of the party men.
At least 13 people, including nine of the Awami League and its associate organisations, had been killed in the district since November 21.
The Islami Chhatra Shibir in a press release claimed that eight Jamaat and Shibir activists had died in the ‘crackdown’ of joint forces and they were arresting people indiscriminately and firing into the people.
The district unit Jamaat enforced a daylong general strike on Tuesday in protest at the drive of joint forces that killed five of their activists.
Reports from Lakshmipur said that local leader of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party Asaduzzaman Babul and his follower Khorshed Alam Sumon had been killed in a ‘shootout’ when the battalion was conducting a raid to arrest them about 11:00pm on Sunday.
A battalion handout claimed that Babul and his associates had fired into them when they went to arrest them while planning subversive activities at Rataner Khil of Jamirtali in the district.
On Tuesday, the police found BNP activists Abdul Mannan and Zahirul Islam dead at Battali in the district headquarters. The bodies were diddled with bullets. Both of them went missing on Sunday night after the battalion’s drive at Rataner Khil.
The families claimed they had been detained by the battalion from the spot and could not be traced on Monday.
Local people said their bodies were left on the bank of a canal beside the substation of the Rural Electrification Board at Battali and the police recovered them on information.
Mannan’s brother Ismail Hossain said that the battalion had picked up some people, including his brother, on Sunday night and Mannan’s body was found on Tuesday.
Lovely Akhtar, wife of missing BNP activist Belal Hossain, said RAB had picked up her husband too but he could not be traced anywhere.
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