Lal Pataka chief killed in ‘shootout’

Rajshahi, Sep 9 ( — A high-profile leader of banned extremist political outfit – Purba Bangla Communist Party (ML Lalpataka) – was killed in an alleged ‘shootout’ with RAB, in the small hours of Thursday, in Rajshahi.

Elite force Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) claimed that with the death of Ratan alias Titas, 38, who was also the commander of the party’s Rajshai zone, an era of Lal Pataka was brought to an end.

The claimed shootout took place at Thandar Para village under Bagmara Upazila at about 1am.

A RAB-5 press release said the Bagmara camp intelligence team of the agency had learnt that top leaders of the banned party were meeting the zonal leaders, aiming at reformation of the party. The party was without direction after the death of its former Rajshahi commander Elahi Box Mithu, on Aug 25 in another ‘shootout’.

After being tipped off, a RAB-5 team took up position at a Thandar Para village mango-orchard at about 1am.

Suspecting the presence of RAB, the extremists tried to flee. When the RAB personnel chased the alleged extremists they started firing at the law enforcers, the release claimed.

RAB personnel were then also compelled to fire back to defend themselves. The body of Titas was found as his companions escaped after a 20-minute gunfight, RAB claimed.

Police recovered a locally made single-shooter gun, a foreign-made pistol, a magazine, five rounds of bullets, a large machete, a dagger and some party leaflets.

According to RAB, Titas had at least 10 murder cases, including a police killing case, and some other cases against him.

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