REF: One of the key accused in a shooting in Magura, which left a woman and the baby in her womb injured, has been killed in what police claim was crossfire
The firing during last month’s turf war between Awami League supporters had also killed a man and left another with bullet injuries.
Tuesday’s victim, identified as Mehedi Hasan Ajibor alias Ajibor Sheikh, was the second accused in the case.
It was alleged that Ajibor was the one who opened fire during the July 23 skirmish that led to the casualties.
Police did not confirm his detention earlier on Monday when words were out that Ajibor was caught. He has been on the run since the incident.
The law enforcers in the early hours of Tuesday said the man was killed during the ‘gunfight’ around 1am at the district town’s Doarparh.
Magura’s Superintendent of Police Ehsan Ullah told reporters several police teams went there on information that Ajibor and a group of criminals were spotted near Doarparh orphanage.
But the miscreants tried to flee, he claimed. They started shooting sensing police presence, prompting the law-keepers to return fire, he further said.
“Ajibor’s body was found at the scene after the gunfight ended,” he further claimed in a standard description of so-called ‘crossfire’ killings, which in common parlance means murders without trial.
SP Ehsan Ullah said the other members of the criminal group had fled, but two firearms were recovered from there.
Mehedi Hasan Ajibor alias Ajibor Sheikh
Ajibor Sheikh was a former member of the executive committee of a local Bangladesh Chhatra League unit.
His father Abdul Malek is an active supporter of the ruling Awami League. Malek was known as ‘Boma Malek’ in the 1990s during the movement against military ruler HM Ershad for his bomb-making exploits.
A pregnant Najma Begum was shot during the clash at Doarparha on July 23.
The fight for control of the area pitted her brother-in-law, local Awami Juba League activist Kamrul Bhuiyan’s supporters against followers of former Juba League activists Mohammad Ali and Ajibor.
The gun battle left Kamrul’s uncle Abdul Momin Bhuiyan dead and a neighbour injured.
The bullet that hit Najma, who was 34 weeks into her pregnancy, also injured the baby inside her womb, triggering outcry and condemnation across Bangladesh.
The baby girl who was born through surgery is currently out of danger and close to full recovery.
Both Najma and the baby, later named ‘Suraiya’, are still under the doctors’ observation at the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital.
Police so far have arrested nine of the 16 accused in the case lodged by Abdul Momin’s family.
Magura Chhatra League unit’s Vice-President Sen Suman was arrested in Dhaka earlier this month and is currently being questioned in police custody.
Apart from Ajibor, killed in the alleged gunfight in the wee hours of Tuesday, six other accused including Mohammad Ali are still on the run.
Locals said being the ruling party’s supporters, Kamrul, Ali, and Ajibor had always moved together. But disagreement over personal interests drew Kamrul and Ajibor apart.
Ajibor became busy with government contract works while the other two got involved in illegal activities including land grabbing, brokering, extortion and drug trading, residents of the area said.
One of the locals, requesting anonymity, told bdnews24.com: “They always maintained a good relation with individuals who are politically influential in the district for personal gains.”
“They supported the BNP when it was in power and now they are supporters of the Awami League.”
Ajibor had come to Ali’s aid when the latter had fallen out with Kamrul over share of money earned illegally four months ago.
Their groups were also having small disputes over dominance in the area which boiled into the major clash on July 23.
Locals also said Ajibor’s brother ‘Majibor’, another accused in the murder case, was always close to a local influential leader of the local unit of Jatiyatabadi Juba Dal when the BNP was in power.