A defendant of over two dozen cases, who succumbed to his injuries on Thursday afternoon at a hospital in Dhaka after sustaining fatal wounds during a so-called ‘gun battle’, was shot by drug peddlers, according to the first information report filed by Rapid Action Battalion.
Earlier on Friday, Lt Col Abdullah Al Momen, commander of RAB-1, said the suspect, 35-year old Shahin Mia alias City Shahin died at Mugda Medical College Hospital in Dhaka after he was injured in the ‘gunfight’ on Thursday afternoon.
Shahin, whom RAB described as a most wanted man, was accused in nearly two dozen cases, including some related to murder, robbery and drug trafficking.
The deadly ‘shootout’ occurred nearly a year after the US imposed sanctions on the force for ‘serious violation of human rights’.
The chief of Rupganj Police Station, AFM Sayed, said RAB-1 Inspector Md Ashrafuzzaman started the case with the station, accusing some yet-to-be-named drug peddlers.
Inspector Md Ashrafuzzaman filed two more cases- the first one in connection with drug trafficking and the second one under the firearms act, OC Sayed said.
In the FIR, the inspector wrote that around 1:30pm on Thursday, a RAB team went to a field adjacent to a rehabilitation centre in the district’s Chanpara area after receiving information about the sale of a large consignment of drugs.
The peddlers opened fire targeting the members of the elite police unit after sensing their presence. RAB members fired back in “self-defence”, reads the FIR.
The gun battle and subsequent hurling of bricks continued for at least 15 minutes and a few members of the elite force had sustained injuries during the ‘gunfight’.
Later at 2pm, Shahin’s body was found lying on the field after the reinforcement from the local police station arrived at the scene, plaintiff Ashrafuzzaman wrote.
"Shahin was injured in the indiscriminate firing by unidentified drug peddlers. He was rescued and taken to Mugda General Hospital He died at 4:20pm,” the RAB-1 inspector wrote in the FIR.
At least 45 grams of heroin in two packs, a foreign-made pistol, a magazine with three rounds of bullets and two shell casings were recovered from the spot.
However, Shahin’s brother-in-law Md Parvez claimed that RAB had detained Shahin during a raid in the district’s Chanpara around 12:30pm on Thursday.
“Later we went to Demra after hearing that he [Shahin] had been shot. We were told that Shahin had been whisked to Dhaka Medical [College Hospital]. We went there [DMCH] in the evening.
“We were told there that RAB had brought his body there, but later moved it to some other place. We are yet to receive any news about his body,” he said.
RAB-1 Commander Lt Col Momen dismissed Parvez’s version of the sequence of events as false, claiming Shahin was shot at Chanpara.
Formed in 2004, the RAB has long been accused of human rights violations, including extra-judicial killing and torture in custody. International organisations and western countries have condemned the force’s action many times.
The US imposed sanctions on the force and seven of its current and former officials, including its former chief Benazir Ahmed, in December last year.