Rakib was one of the three top Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh men who were snatched from police custody in a Hollywood-style ambush on the highway
Sunday morning. He was captured five hours later when his getaway car crashed.
His killing happened after journalists drew the attention of Deputy Inspector General of Police SM
Mahfuzul Haq Nuruzzaman about the possibility of Rakib getting killed in so-called shootouts or crossfire, just like many other arrested criminals.
“We will do everything for his security,” the IGP had told journalists Sunday evening at Sakhipur Police Station in Tangail, hours before Rakib was killed.
After Rakib was captured Sunday afternoon, his mother started crying saying her son would be killed, reported Bangla daily Prothom Alo.
No journalist was allowed to talk to Rakib. But Detective Branch of police and other law enforcement agencies interrogated Rakib, condemned for murder, at Sakhipur Police Station for about 14 hours.
According to police, Rakib was under the custody of the Sakhipur police before he was taken to Beltoli Ceramics area in Mirzapur upazila around 4:30am “to arrest JMB militants”.
He claimed that JMB men sprayed bullets on the police team to snatch Rakib away again. The police retaliated and Rakib got seriously injured during the half-an-hour-long gunfight, he claimed.
Rakib received three bullets and was taken to Mirzapur Kumudini Hospital where he was declared dead, the OC claimed.
Interestingly, nobody else was hit with bullets. The three policemen -- Golam Moula, Mohammad Asaduzzaman and Mozammel Haque -- who were allegedly injured were admitted to Tangail Police Hospital, the OC said, adding that a shotgun, one bullet and three bullet shells were recovered from the scene.
Rakib's killing happened amid widespread outcry by right activists at home and abroad against extra-judicial killings.Chairman Mizanur Rahman of National Human Rights Commission said the practice continues even after they had repeatedly raised their voice against it.
He said the law enforcement agencies must explain what they achieve in such operations in which arrested persons accompany.
Iftekharuzzaman, executive director of Transparency International Bangladesh, said, "Judging by recent trends, I'm not at all surprised, though deeply disturbed, by the latest killing by crossfire. The law enforcement institutions have been doing everything possible to lead to sharp erosion of public trust in them. This is very unfortunate and extremely damaging for the prospect of rule of law, justice and democratic accountability in the country."
About the killing of Rakib in “shootout”, Home Secretary CQK Mustaq Ahmed said Rakib was convicted notorious criminal. “Incidents [shootouts] take place whenever police conduct a drive to recover firearms based on their information. If we don't conduct the drives to capture them and seize their weapons then the situation will be more precarious.”
At least 40 people were killed in “gunfights”, cop-firing and torture in different parts of the country since January this year, say statistics of rights organisation Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK).
In 2009, the number of extrajudicial killings stood at 229, in 2010 at 133, in 2011 at 100, in 2012 at 91 and in 2013 it was 208, says an ASK report.
A three-member medical board led by Rafiqul Islam, resident medical officer of Tangail General Hospital, conducted Rakib's autopsy. Firoz Mahmud, a first class magistrate in Tangail, did an inquest at Mirzapur Kumudini Hospital.
Rakib's body was handed over to his father Abdus Sobhan around 5:20pm. His body was taken to his village home in Beltoil of Melandaha upazila in Jamalpur.
JMB Majlish-e-Shura members Rakib and Salauddin Ahmed alias Salehin were on death row for the murder of Joseph Gani Gomez Mandal, a medicine trader of Melandaha in Jamalpur.
Rakib, Salauddin and JMB explosives expert “Boma Mizan” were snatched from police in the ambush at Trishal. The ambush left a policeman dead and two other cops injured.
Superintendent of Police Moinul Haque of Mymensingh told our correspondent there that 10 teams of joint forces were conducting drives in Mymensingh to capture Salauddin and “Boma Mizan”.
Meanwhile, Zakaria Islam and Mohammad Rasel who were arrested from Tangail after the ambush were placed on 20-day remands each yesterday in two cases -- one under Arms Act and the other under Explosive Substances Act -- filed with Sakhipur Police Station.