Two leaders of an outlawed party were killed in a “gunfight” with police in Rajbari’s Pangsha upazila early yesterday. The dead are Kamal Hossain, 45, and Omar Kha, 35, of Shantikhola and Borochoubaria villages of the upazila. Kamal was the prime accused in a case filed in connection with the murder of Mizanur Rahman, a former officer-in-charge of Pangsha Police Station. Omar, one of Kamal’s accomplices, was also the ringleader of an inter-district robber gang, claimed police.
Police also said the duo were top leaders of outlawed Biplobi Communist Party and were close to the party’s Rajbari regional leader SM Shajahan alias Sagar alias Bhulu, who had recently been released from Rajbari jail on bail. On Thursday afternoon, police arrested Kamal who was hiding in a place at Langalbandh of Jhenidah’s Shailkupa upazila. Based on his information, the law enforcers nabbed Omar from Goalondo ghat area in Rajbari later, said Hasina Begum, sub-inspector of Pangsha Police Station.
The arrestees said they were hiding arms in a garden at Patra village and around 1:30am yesterday, police along with the duo went there to recover those, she said. When police reached near the spot, accomplices of the criminals suddenly opened fire on them. The law enforcers were forced to fire back, triggering the “gunfight”. Both Omar and Kamal were caught in the line of fire and died on their way to a hospital, claimed the police official. Police claimed to have recovered two shutter guns, one gun and five cartridges from the scene. Five policemen, including officer-in-charge of Pangsha Police Station Abu Shama Iqbal Hayat, were injured in the incident.
They were given first aid at Pangsha Upazila Health Complex, Hasina added. According to police, both Kamal and Omar were wanted in several cases. Kamal stood accused in five cases, including former Pangsha OC Mizanur Rahman murder, while Omar in six cases, including murder. In 2004, Mizan was killed during a gunfight with the Biplobi Communist Party cadres in Mourat village of Pangsha upazila. According to rights body Ain o Salish Kendra, 72 people were killed in “crossfire” between law enforcers and alleged criminals in the first six months of this year. As per reports published in this newspaper, at least 24 people, including Kamal and Omar, were killed in “gunfights” or “shootouts” between July 1 and September 4.