Wednesday, July 7, 2010

1 more killed in ‘crossfire’

Total number reached 202 during the Awami League ruling!
By Bangladesh Media, The New Age correspondent from Noakhali reports that a boatman, suspected of leading a pirates’ gang, was killed by the Rapid Action Battalion in ‘crossfire’ at Janata Bazar of Hatiya in Noakhali early Tuesday taking the number of extrajudicial killings to 202 since January 2009.

The deceased was Bashar Majhi, suspected of leading the pirates’ gang in Subarnachar and Hatiya, according to the Rapid Action Battalion. Tuesday’s incident took to 202 the number of people killed in incidents such as ‘crossfire’, ‘encounter’ or ‘gunfight’ across the country after January 6, 2009 when the Awami League-led government assumed office.

The Awami League in its election manifesto pledged that ‘extrajudicial killings will be stopped.’ Forty-seven people have been killed in custody since the High Court on December 14, 2009 asked the authorities not to kill any more people in ‘crossfire’ or ‘encounter’ until it hears a rule it issued suo moto on the government in connection with extrajudicial killings.

The Noakhali police superintendent, Harun-ur-Rashid Hazari, said a joint team of the battalion, Coast Guard and local police, raided Janata Bazar about 4:30am on information that a group was meeting there. As the lawmen approached, the gang fired into the lawmen, who fired back, triggering a ‘gunfight.’ Bashar was caught in the firing and died on the spot, Harun-ur-Rashid said.

Noakhali correspondent of the daily New Age wrote that Local sources, however, said the army and battalion personnel had arrested Bashar at the costal area about 3:00am and beat him up. The body was sent to the Noakhali General Hospital morgue for a post-mortem examination.

He was accused in 31 cases, including six for murder, the battalion said.

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