Six yaba barons killed in Teknaf belt in one month
At last a massive drive against the drug hub in Teknaf coastal belt started as law-enforcing agencies shot dead two yaba barons Sunday, raising the toll to six in last one month.
The two killed Sunday were Jahid Hossain Jaku, 43, son of Abedin Saodagar of Kayukh Khali para, and Faridul Alam, 42, son of Shamsul Haq of Naikhangpara of Teknaf. They were on the home ministry list of yaba traders, officials said.
On March 21, one listed yaba trader named Nur Hohammad was killed in ‘cross-fire’ during an encounter with law enforcers. On April 24, three boatmen were killed by coastguards on suspicion of their involvement in yaba trading that has spread alarmingly. Besides, two other suspects who had been missing since Saturday are yet to be spotted.
Meanwhile, two other yaba traders were killed in a ‘gunfight’ with law-enforcement agencies in the early hours of Sunday.
A dreadful situation prevails in the bordering town of Teknaf with the killing of a number of yaba traders. The townspeople were held hostage to the yaba barons and they could not protest this illegal drug trade. “The known yaba traders have been off the scenes in the town and adjoining areas since Sunday morning as they went into hiding,” says an eyewitness account of the situation. The mobile phones of yaba traders were found off.
The markets were open without any significant transaction. Shipments and deals in yaba were not followed. No big consignment of yaba was seized Sunday—unlike other days of roaring trade.
Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB0 17 battalion commanding officer Lt Col Saif and BGB 42 battalion commander Lt Col Abuzar Al Zahid said they could not seize a single consignment of yaba despite conducting drive throughout Sunday.
The persons who were killed in Damdamia Nature Park area beside Naf river in a shootout between BGB-RAB joint force and criminals at around 4am are Teknaf municipal Swechchhasebak League president Jahid Hossain Jaku and Faridul Alam. Both were listed by the Home Ministry as yaba smugglers. Besides, slain Jaku and Noor Mohammad alias Lastrip, also a listed yaba smuggler who was kidnapped on Saturday, and Salman were bodyguards of Awami League MP Abdur Rahman Bodi.
Teknak border area’s BGB-42 battalion commanding officer Lt Col Abuzar Al Zahid said that as part of RAB-BGB joint drive to stop yaba smuggling through border area, a joint drive was launched on Saturday night to arrest listed yaba smuggler Jaku and Faridul Alam.
“At one stage of the drive, listed yaba smuggler and Swechchhasebak League leader Jahed Hossain Jaku along with his cohorts, including Faridul Alam, tried to flee by a microbus through Damdamia Nature Park. RAB-BGB asked them to halt. But, ignoring the signal to stop, the yaba smugglers opened fire on law enforcers,” says an official account of the operation.
“At this time, RAB-BGB also started counter-firing and the criminals tried to run away, leaving the car. Later bodies of Jaku and Faridul were found near the microbus.”
The RAB-BGB combatants recovered 2,000 yaba tablets, two LGs, one pipe-gun and 10 rounds of cartridges from the spot.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, Nur Mohammad, 27, general secretary of ward-3 unit of Juba League, and his brother-in-law Salman, 22, were abducted from Lama Bazaar area in Teknaf.
Nur Mohammad is close associate of the ruling-party MP, Abdur Rahman Badi. They are residents of Aliyabad village in Teknaf town area.
Nur Mohammad is one of the top yaba traders and home ministry-listed yaba smuggler in the border area.
The names of lawmaker Badi’s five brothers—Mujibur Rahman, Abdus Sakur, Abdul Amin, Shafiquer Rahman and Faisal Amin—are also on the ministry’s list.
It is alleged that the abducted yaba smugglers were looking after the business of MP Badi’s family.
In this connection, Ranjit Kumar Borua, officer-in-charge of Teknaf police station, said, “I have heard that some unidentified people abducted Salman and Nur Mohammad by a microbus on Saturday morning.”
Abducted Salman’s mother, Gulbahar, filed a general dairy (GD) with the police station on Saturday night in this connection.
Salman’s mother told journalists that she wanted to know who abducted her “innocent” son and son-in-law.
But the RAB and police denied having picked them up.
Following the recent killing of three listed Yaba traders in ‘crossfire’ and abduction of two others in Teknaf, former lawmaker Prof Mohammad Ali, also president of Teknaf upazila unit Awami League, said those killed in ‘crossfire’ were close associates of local MP Abdur Rahman Bodi.
The victims were known as bodyguards of lawmaker Bodi.
After the closure of Teknaf land port for five days, normal activities of the port resumed Sunday but public movement was scarce.
Nur-e Alam, a local customs official, said the reason behind the poor presence of people in the area is because of a drive against listed Yaba barons.
Meanwhile, port users enforced hartal for five days in protest against arrest of two siblings and listed Yaba traders Ziabul and Ayas.
The customs official said the strike had incurred a loss worth Tk 1 crore to the government exchequer.
State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan during his visit to the Teknaf border on April 19 said unremitting smuggling of the deadly drug from Myanmar would not be tolerated.
The government has taken a hard line on drug traders, he added.
Asad asserted that no lobbying and request to stop the drive against Yaba barons would be entertained.
Since his visit, law-enforcers started a massive drive against Yaba traders.
Cox’s Bazar sector commander Col Khandker Farid Hasan said they have been instructed to bring the massive Yaba influx crossing the Naf to zero level