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Police accused of killing ‘fish farmer’ in anti-drug drive

  • Published at 11:11 pm June 8th, 2018
Nazma Khatun, the wife of Anisur Rahman, who was killed in a gunfight with police at Kalaroa upazila of Satkhira on May 28, speaking at a press conference at Satkhira Press Club on June 8, 2018 Asaduzzaman Sardar/Dhaka Tribune

'My two little children have lost their father. They have none to call Abbu [father]. Their future is bleak. I have no choice now but to beg on the streets to make ends meet'

Two weeks into the death of her husband in a so-called gunfight, a woman in Satkhira has accused the police of forcibly taking him from their Pakuria home in the Kalaroa upazila and killing him.

Nazma Khatun, wife of slain Anisur Rahman, made this accusation at the Satkhira Press Club on Friday.

“Anisur was a drug dealer, who died in a firefight between two groups of drug peddlers on May 28,” Biplob Kumar Nath, officer-in-charge of Kalaroa police station, told journalists.

On receiving the information, police rushed to the spot and recovered the dead body and a shotgun, he said.

Refuting the claim, Nazma alleged that her fish farmer husband was brutally killed in a gunfight with the police.

“Four policemen in plainclothes, led by Khordo police outpost Assistant Sub-inspector Ezaz Mahmud, visited our home on May 27 and threatened to kill my husband wherever they would find him. They also forcibly took Tk3,000 from us on that day,” Nazma said. 

“The police team killed Anisur after picking up him from our house the following day. Neighbors and locals saw him being picked up by police.” 

She also accused Kalaroa police of refusing to accept a general diary after Anisur was picked up.

“My two little children have lost their father. They have none to call Abbu [father]. Their future is bleak. I have no choice now but to beg on the streets to make ends meet,” Nazma said, wiping her tears.

“What crime has my husband committed? Why did police kill him so cruelly? He was a BNP supporter, is this the reason behind this murder?” questions poured out from her.

“My husband was a fish farmer. He also used to work in other people’s ghers (enclosures). But, police killed him after labeling him a drug dealer,” Nazma further alleged, adding that Anisur was “falsely” implicated in at least five cases relating to narcotics.  

Anisur could have been allowed to face trial had he really committed any crimes, she said.

“The way he was killed is never acceptable. I demand intervention of the prime minister and the home minister into the matter.”

Ezaz, however, denied the allegations brought against him, saying he knew nothing in this regard.

“I know nothing about the incident. I did not go to Anisur’s house and extract any money as his wife claimed. These allegations are false and baseless,” he said.  

When contacted, Sub-inspector Sirajul Islam, in-charge of Khordo police outpost, said that Anisur’s entire family was involved in yaba peddling.

“They were warned to stop the drug trade on several occasions. Anisur died in a firefight between two gangs of drug peddlers. Police were not involved in the incident.”

Nazma’s allegations come amid the growing concerns over an aggressive anti-narcotics crackdown that saw more than 130 people killed and over 13,000 other arrested in the last one month.        

Earlier, on May 26, Teknaf municipality councillor Ekramul Haque was killed in a similar gunfight with Rapid Action Battalion (RAB). 

RAB claimed Ekram had been involved in drug peddling.

Refuting the claim, the deceased’s wife, Ayesha Begum, alleged that Ekramul was killed in cold blood, not in a gunfight as the elite paramilitary anti-crime taskforce claimed.

She also gave reporters a total of four audio clips that recorded terrifying conversations between Ekram and his family right before he died in a hail of bullets.

The audio recorded on a mobile phone also captured sounds of gunfire and groans of a dying man.

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