Conflicting reports on death of Jamaat local councillor Imrul Kayes: police assert “gunfight”, family assert police abduction and extrajudicial execution

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Jamaat leader Imrul Kayes, killed in a “gunfight” with detectives in Dhaka yesterday, came to the capital recently because he was wanted in his home district Narail in connection with blockade-related violence.

Police said he had been living in a mess near the Dakkhin Musuddi Government Primary School in the capital’s Wari area and was planning to carry out subversive activities in the city.

He was wanted by Narail police because he was allegedly involved with several incidents of violence after the BNP-Jamaat-led 20-party alliance’s non-stop blockade began on January 6.

Imrul’s wife Jannatul Ferdous lives at their village home in Narail with their only daughter.

His cousin Jahidur Rahman, a lawyer by profession, yesterday received the dead body from the Dhaka Medical College Morgue where an autopsy was done.

Jahidur claimed that his cousin was a student of the capital’s Tejgaon College. “He was a councillor of ward number one of Narail Municipality and a local leader of Jamaat-e-Islami.”

Deputy Commissioner Jahangir Hossain Matubbar from the Detective Branch (DB) of Police said Imrul had several arson and vandalism cases against his name in Narail; DB is now trying to find out more about those cases.

When contacted over phone, Narail sadar police station OC Sheikh Motiar Rahman told the Dhaka Tribune that Imrul is wanted in a total of eight cases, all filed at different times after December 2013.

The OC also said three of those cases were filed very recently in connection with arson and vandalism after the blockade began; he was sued in a number of cases in 2012 as well.

Dhaka Tribune also talked to Imrul’s wife Jannatul over phone. She said her husband has one case against his name which was filed in December 2013.

“He has been on the run since then. He sometimes came home for a few days but would not stay for long,” she said.

Contradicting Imrul’s cousin Jahidur who said he was a student of law in Tejgaon College, Jannatul said her husband had come to Dhaka on a pleasure trip.

Abduction or gunfight?

Police and Imrul’s family had given conflicting statements about his death. While his family claimed that DB had abducted him, DB said they did not know who he was until he was identified by relatives.

Although DB claimed that he was killed in a “gunfight,” a source from the Dhaka Medical College morgue said Imrul was shot from a close range.

The Dhaka Tribune caught up with Imrul’s brother Abdur Razzak over phone yesterday evening.

Razzak said: “A group of people, who said they were from DB, came to Imrul’s mess in the early hours of Saturday and picked him up. At first they wanted to see his national ID card. After they confirmed his identity, they took him with them.

“On Saturday morning, Imrul’s roommate called up his wife’s mobile phone and told her that he had been taken away. Then we sent an acquaintance to the DB office in Dhaka. But DB denied knowing anything about the matter.

“Around 11am yesterday, someone called up Jannatul [Imrul’s wife] from Imrul’s mobile phone and told her that he was severely injured in an ‘accident’ and that he was being taken to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital. The caller did not say who he was,” Razzak said.

However, DB claimed that they did not even know who Imrul was until his family members identified his body at the morgue.

“We had information that a group of people were planning subversive activities from there [the mess] and a team of detectives went there,” and official said.

DC Jahangir Hossain Matubbar said the incident took place around 3am at AGB Colony kitchen market area in the capital’s Motijheel.

Sensing the presence of law enforcers, the group that had gathered there opened fire and detectives retaliated. At one stage, the criminals fled the spot leaving back injured Imrul. Police recovered one pistol, two bullets and five crude bombs from the spot, Jahangir said.

According to sources, Imrul was taken to the DMCH around 3:45am with several bullet wounds on his chest. On-duty doctors then declared him dead. A Motijheel police station Sub-Inspector Sheikh Feroz Alam is said to have taken the body to the hospital.

Yesterday afternoon, an autopsy was conducted on Imrul’s body in the presence of Executive Magistrate Nusrat Jahan Nipu.

A morgue source said a total of nine bullets pierced the victim’s chest and went out through his back.

“I think the shots were fired from a close range. That was why the bullets pierced his chest and went out through the back,” the source said.

Imrul’s family took his body to their village home yesterday evening.

Jamaat’s statement

Jamaat-e-Islami issued a press statement yesterday evening claiming that Imrul’s death was planned killing.

The statement said Imrul had come to Dhaka a few days ago to seek bail from the High Court and was staying at a relative’s place. On Saturday, DB picked him up from there.