Vol. 5 Num 72 Sat. August 07, 2004  
Front Page

'Pichchi' Hannan killed in 'crossfire'

'Pichchi' Hannan, one of the top 23 criminals on police list, was killed early hours Friday, the seventh day of his remand by anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), allegedly in crossfire between a gang and a Rab team at Diakhali in Savar.

Rab officials said Hannan's henchmen led by Helal opened fire on a 20-member joint contingent of Rab and Detective Branch (DB) of Police at around 1:45am yesterday during an operation to arrest the gang at Diakhali, 18 kilometres off Savar Police Station.

As the law-enforcers counterattacked, a fierce gunfight ensued, said the Rab men. At least 60 shots were exchanged, they narrated, leaving a Rab corporal and a constable injured with bullet hits. But the officials declined to disclose the names of the wounded on security grounds.

The law-enforcers also reported to have recovered two .32 revolvers, five live and around 25 spent bullets, some of those of .22 revolvers, in the wake of the shootout.

However, no such incident of gunfight or any casualty was recorded by Savar Police Station until last evening.

"Two teams of Rab and DB rushed to Diakhali with Hannan on an information that the gang members were there in a meeting. As soon as the law-enforcers reached the place, the criminals started to shoot away," said Lt Colonel Chowdhury Fazlul Bari, commanding officer of Rab-1.

"As the Rab and DB men countered the fires, the criminals took to flight under cover of the darkness," the colonel said, adding 'Pichchi' Hannan was caught in the crossfire.

Deputy Commissioner (DC) of DB Faruq Ahmed said all the criminals were notorious and a tough fight was there. He said there were five DB men in the contingent.

Captain Mofazzel Hossain of Rab brought Hannan at the Emergency Ward of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) with five bullet hits in the chest, abdomen, forehead and nose, where doctors declared him dead at 3:55am.

In the DMCH admission register, Hannan was recorded as Mohammad Hannan, son of an unidentified man.

Doctors at the DMCH said he might have been shot point blank, as three bullets pierced through his chest and nose. They also observed that he received all the bullets in his front.

A metropolitan magistrate in presence of the captain was carrying out autopsy on Hannan's body at 7:30pm.

Rab members arrested a bullet-injured Hannan in a Savar hospital on June 26, two days after he and his operatives had shot through a Rab cordon at Uttara in the city.

Two of his accomplices, Shaheb Ali and Debashish, were also arrested with him. Debashish died in Rab custody, while the body of Iqbal Hossain Nitel, another operative of Hannan who had also been injured in the Uttara shootout, was found in Tejgaon on July 27.

Before being caught by Rab, Hannan was on the run for the last two and a half years with 11 cases pending against him. The home ministry had announced a bounty of Tk 1 lakh on his head.

On June 27, three more cases were filed with Uttara Police Station against Hannan, dubbed by police as a byword for crimes and atrocities, and his gang-members.

Since July 8, Hannan was taken on 30 days' remand in three phases, by Uttara police, DB and Rab, in an arms case, sub-inspector Humayun Kabir murder case and one for interfering in police activities.

During his remands, he told police of having links with some lawmakers of both ruling BNP and major opposition Awami League. He also claimed a Dhaka City Corporation ward commissioner and another top listed criminal now in jail were his godfathers.

However, none of the people, Hannan claimed to have links with, was arrested by police or Rab.

Hannan's rise and fall

After completing the eighth grade in a school at Santoshpur of Bhadarganj in Chandpur, Hannan came to Dhaka to help his father, Waziullah, a vegetable vendor at Karwan Bazaar in the late 1980's.

He started his career selling vegetables on footpaths, but soon gave it up from dislike. Hannan then found a job as a canteen boy at Jahurul Haq Hall of the Dhaka University. Within a very short time he came close to some top student leaders. Sensing the 'enormous powers' the political leaders enjoy, he started offering them personal services.

Later he left Jahurul Haq Hall and restarted selling vegetables on the footpaths at Karwan Bazar. He also helped police collect tolls from the vendors. Some days later, he started collecting tolls as an agent of police, handed over a portion of the collection to policemen and kept the remainder.

Hannan then formed a gang to run the toll collection activities. He also assured the traders that they would not have to pay any more tolls once his gang was paid. He soon extended his control and took over the Karwan Bazar wholesale fish market.

Once Hannan was hacked and injured by a leader of the fish traders named Akther. Tendons of his legs and hands were severed and he was thrown into a sewerage line. He was admitted to a hospital where he underwent surgeries to repair the injuries. Again he returned to Karwan Bazar unchallenged.

He went underground in 1997 to escape arrest and assassination attempts. He extended his area of toll collection by joining hands with Shahid Commissioner, another notorious criminal of Old Dhaka. Sources said Shaheb Ali took Hannan to Shahid, who engaged him as a killer.

Another notorious criminal, Kala Jahangir, also joined hands with Shahid. Hannan became totally unchallenged when he moved to Old City and ganged up with Shahid and Kala Jahangir.

He established his control over Razabazar, Farm Gate and the adjacent areas after he joined hands with Sweden Aslam and another kingpin who is a now local ward commissioner.

Police have no accurate statistics on how many people were killed by Hannan. But they put the figure at no less than 30. They suspect he was behind the killing of BNP leaders Habib Mandal, Anu, Sujit Das Tunu and Shadat Commissioner.

After the arrest of Shahid Commissioner, Hannan and Kala Jahangir tried to take control of South of Dhaka. To take over the largest drug market in the city, he killed several people opposing him.

Later he moved his hiding place to Uttara and then to Gulshan.