Culprits instigated attack on plain-clothes law enforcement officials by calling them 'robbers' in a microphone announcement
Four people were on Sunday arrested in a drive in the Balirhat area near Bakalia police station in Chittagong city over the smuggling of illegal timber and an attack on RAB.
The arrestees were identified as Mohammad Forkan, 21, son of the late Haji Jane Alam, Abdul Sattar, 64, son of the late Khalilur Rahman, Rakib, 19, son of Yasin, and Mohammad Shamshed Alam, 32, son of the late Khalilur Rahman. They are all from the 18 East Bakalia Bolirhat area of Bakalia in Chittagong.
Operations to catch others involved in the attack and smuggling operation were ongoing.
RAB-7 Deputy Commander Major Nasirul Hasan Khan confirmed the matter and said RAB conducted a drive on a furniture shop in Bolirhat on Sunday afternoon after receiving information that illegal timber was being stockpiled there.
The smugglers learned of the RAB presence and made microphone announcements from the mosque that there were robbers in the area. As a result of the announcement, 50-60 people gathered and the culprits led them to attack plain-clothes law enforcement officials.
Four RAB and two forest department officials were injured in the clash. The injured were rushed to Chittagong Medical College Hospital for treatment, Major Nasirul Hasan said.
Approximately 8,000 cubic feet of timber worth about Tk 4 crore was seized during the raid.
RAB-7 Assistant Director (Media) Nurul Absar said the arrestees have been illegally collecting timber from various government forests and smuggling it to different parts of the country for a long time.
A case is being filed by the Forest Department under the Forest Act regarding the confiscated timber, while a separate case is being filed over the attack.