Dhaka, Jun 18 (PTI) A 17-year-old militant who was arrested this week while carrying out a failed assassination attempt on a Hindu lecturer in southwestern Bangladesh was killed overnight in what police claimed to be a “shootout”.
“Golam Faizullah Fahim’s cohorts fired gunshots as he was guiding us (police) to a hideout of theirs…He died in crossfire as we retaliated,” Madaripur’s Superintendent of Police Sarwar Hossain told PTI over phone.
Another official familiar with the incident said police took Fahim to an area on the outskirts of the district town last evening where the shootout occurred. He was injured and declared dead when brought to a hospital after the “shootout”.
The surprise shootout came a day after police secured a court order to interrogate Fahim in custody in connection with the murder attempt on Ripan Chakraborty, 50, a mathematics lecturer of a government university college in Madaripur.
Bangladesh in recent months witnessed a series of deadly clandestine attacks on religious minorities and secular and liberal activists. The machete-wielding militants fled the scenes after carrying out the murders.
But Fahim, a student of a college in Dhaka, was the lone assailant to be grabbed by people in the neighbourhood though two other attackers fled the scene after attack on Chakraborty who sustained injuries.
Islamic State or al Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent claimed responsibilities for most of the attacks. However, authorities attributed the attacks to home grown militant outfits like Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh or Ansaral Islam (ABT).
According to police, Fahim claimed himself to be a member of a third outfit, Hizbut Tahrir, a grouping of mainly university level students and young professionals.
Bangladesh banned Tahrir, an international organisation, several years ago after years of its overt activities in the country when it was believed to be a non-militant grouping despite radical rightwing outlook.
According to media reports, Fahim told police that Tahrir had recruited him through a former student of the college he studied while his family members said they had no idea that the boy was a member of a militant outfit.
Teachers of his Uttara collage also described him as a good student who scored well in the last Secondary School Certificate Exam.
Fahim’s father works in the apparels industry while his mother Kamrun Nahar is a homemaker.
2015 Kashmir Despatch