Two top underground operatives of Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP-Red Flag) were killed in a 'gunfight' with law enforcers in Atrai upazila of Naogaon early yesterday.
The dead were identified as Abdus Salam alias Topu, 40, Naogaon regional chief of the outlawed party, and Jahangir alias Jalal, 38, its military affairs commander for greater Rajshahi region.
A Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel and a policeman were taken to hospital after they sustained injuries during the gunfight at Sadupur village at about 1:30am, said a Rab press release.
After the gunfight, the law enforcers recovered an Indian-made automatic pistol, a shooter gun, two bullets, seven cartridges, PBCP leaflets, a mobile phone set and two torches from the scene.
A joint team of Rab and police rushed to the area following a tip-off that the PBCP operatives were holding a secret meeting at Mohadighi Sadupur in Atrai upazila to commit crimes on the occasion of the death anniversary of their spiritual leader Dr Mizanur Rahman Tutul, Rab source said.
Sensing presence of the law enforcers, the outlaws opened fire on them ensuing a 10-minute gunfight between the criminals and law enforcers.
At one stage, the criminals fled the scene. The law enforcers and local people later found Topu and Jalal lying on the ground with bullet injuries. The injured outlaws were then taken to Atrai Health Complex where doctors declared them dead.
Both Topu and Jalal were accused in more than five cases including police murder and government arms looting cases of Chowbaria in Naogaon and Taherpur of Bagmara, Rajshahi.
The law enforcement agencies were haunting them since the late 90s as many of the arrested PBCP cadres in their confessional statements had mentioned their names to be involved in several murders.