Rohingya drug traffickers were involved in Zero Point shooting: home minister

An ISPR statement mentioned that a DGFI official died while a RAB member was injured in the incident

Senior CorrespondentBandarban
Published : 15 Nov 2022, 10:49 AM
Updated : 15 Nov 2022, 10:49 AM

Rohingya drug traffickers were involved in a shootout with Bangladesh armed forces at the Zero Point of the border in Bandarban’s Tumabru, according to Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan.

Bangladeshi forces were carrying out an anti-drug raid on a tip-off from defence intelligence, the minister said on Tuesday. “One of our officers was shot dead. We are trying to identify how he was shot and which drug trafficker fired upon him.”

On Monday night, Inter-Services Public Relations said an officer of the Bangladesh Air Force died while a member of the Rapid Action Battalion was wounded during a clash with “smugglers” at Konapara Zero Point along Naikkhyangchhari’s Tumabru border that evening.

ISPR said the air force official worked at the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence, or DGFI, but did not mention his name.

The injured, 30-year-old Sohel Barua, is a police constable and a member of RAB-15 in Cox’s Bazar. He received first aid at Cox’s Bazar Sadar Hospital before being sent to Dhaka that night to be admitted to the neurosurgery department of Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

The doctors have already carried out surgery to remove a blood clot from his head, according to Associate Professor Fazle Elahi.

Around 4,280 Rohingya refugees grouped in 621 families who fled Myanmar in 2017 are camped near the area where the shootout took place.

Dil Mohammad, a Konapara refugee camp leader, said the shooting occurred between 6 am and 7 am.

“The sound of hundreds of bullet rounds filled the air at the time. Sajeda Begum, a 20-year-old camp resident, was hit by a bullet and died on the spot. She gave birth to a child just seven days ago,” he said, adding that they prepared for her funeral on Tuesday morning.

The incident put the whole camp on edge, he said. “The Rohingya spend anxious times here. You can never predict what’ll happen. Having escaped the subjugation of the Myanmar military, we find little safety here.”

Dil Mohammad Bhutto, a member of Ghumdhum Union Council Ward No. 2, said he had heard about the RAB shootout with smugglers, but nothing of the death of a Rohingya woman. The ISPR account did not report the death of any Rohingya woman either.

Asaduzzaman turned his attention to the incident on Tuesday after a programme of the Fire Service and Civil Defence in Mirpur. “The area they raided was in no-man’s land. We’ve come to know that several thousand Rohingya people reside there. Such drives are conducted around defence intelligence plans.”

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