Internal feud over money, power and business led to Dhaka Awami League killings

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Internal feud over the lease of a cattle market at Aftabnagar and jhut (scrap fabrics) business in the area might be behind Thursday night’s killing of several Awami League leaders in Badda, locals and family members have said.

Police yesterday said they were looking into these allegations, but were yet to arrest anyone.

Rafiqul Islam, assistant commissioner of police (Gulshan zone), said they had already got some information about the killers, but declined to elaborate further.

Meanwhile, the Swechchhasebak League leader who had been injured in the gun attack, died yesterday in the capital’s United Hospital, taking the death toll from the shooting to three.

Mahbubur Rahman Gama, 35, assistant cultural affairs secretary of Dhaka city (north) Swechchhasebak League, died around 9:30am, said Matiar Rahman, duty manager of the hospital.

Police, locals and family members suspect Gama was the main target and the others were victims of the situation.

For the last couple of weeks, there had been a tension over the lease of the cattle market at Aftabnagar ahead of Eid-ul-Azha. Gama had got the lease in 2013, but last year a group of Chhatra League men secured the lease, locals said.

In May this year, one of those BCL leaders of Badda unit, Mofazzal Hossain Rahin, was killed by gunmen. Some Swechchhasebak League leaders were blamed for the murder, they added.

This time, Gama was desperate to get the lease again. Many other leaders of pro-AL organisations were also in the race, which created tension.

“This might be a reason behind Gama’s murder,” said a local youth, who requested anonymity for fear of retribution.

Another reason might be the race over controlling the jhut business, according to locals and family members.

Gama had taken control of the jhut business of a garment factory near Badda Link Road after the death of another influential leader of Swechchhasebak League, Baul Sumon, in June.

A feud surfaced soon after he took the control of the business as he had rivals, said a police official, asking not to be named.

“My brother was killed because of an internal feud. No one from outside would come to kill him,” said Ripon, brother of Gama.

However, Pankaj Debnath, general secretary of Swechchhasebak League, denied there was any internal feud in his unit.

Abdul Jalil, officer-in-charge of Badda Police Station, said, “We are looking into the matters of jhut business and cattle market lease.”

The shooting happened around 9:00pm on Thursday at the Badda Adarsha Nagar Panir Pump area when seven to eight leaders and supporters of local Awami League and its associated bodies were discussing the programmes to observe the National Mourning Day (August 15).

Four people were hit in the attack carried out by three to four gunmen, eyewitness Harun-Ar-Rashid, organising secretary of ward-6 AL, told this correspondent after the shooting.

Two of the injured — local AL leader Shamsuddin Molla, 53, and Feroz Ahmed Manik, 42 — were declared dead after they were taken to United Hospital.

A fourth injured, Abdus Salam, owner of a rickshaw garage, was undergoing treatment at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

Source: Daily Star