Bangladesh security forces shot dead a Rohingya woman in a town bordering Myanmar during an anti-drugs operation, officials said on Sunday.
According to media reports, the woman, identified as 20-year-old Rumana Akter, is the first woman to be killed in a clampdown carried out by Bangladesh authorities against the narcotics trade.
The incident happened in Teknaf, a border town, which is known as a gateway for smuggling of Yaba tablets from neighbouring Myanmar.
Yaba tablet is a caffeine and methamphetamine drug, also nicknamed as ‘Madness Drug’.
Yaba is a highly addictive stimulant that takes a serious toll on the body and mind. The users of Yaba can easily become agitated, confused and even suicidal.
The Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) said that Akter was killed during a gunfight between security forces and armed smugglers in Naf river which acts as a border between Bangladesh and Myanmar.
After the gunfight, Akter’s body was found along with a bag. The bag contained 10000 pieces of Yaba tablets and three sharp knives, say reports.
Akter was one of the three alleged smugglers killed in two separate incidents in Teknaf. As per reports, Akter was from a refugee camp in Teknaf.
Two alleged drug traders were killed by police in a separate incident in Teknaf late Saturday. Police said 10,000 pieces of Yaba tablets, six guns and 18 rounds of ammunition were found.
Rights activists questioned the shooting incident claiming that Akter’s name was not on the list of known drug traders kept by Bangladeshi law agencies.
Last year, the cabinet of Bangladesh approved the draft Narcotics Control Act 2018 by introducing provisions of death penalty as the maximum punishment for producing, smuggling, distributing and using over 5 gm of banned drug Yaba.
According to the draft Narcotics Control Act 2018, the accused will be sent to the jail for 15 years as the maximum punishment and five years in jail as the minimum punishment for carrying or trafficking or smuggling less than 5 gm of Yaba.
The draft Act also proposes to introduce death penalty as the maximum punishment for producing, smuggling, distributing and using 25 gm or more of ‘Category A’ drugs including cocaine or heroin.
The decision came as the use of Yaba in Bangladesh has gone up in the past decade becoming it a major concern for the authorities