TV news shocks families of 4 arrested over ‘plot to kill 3 docs’; they were picked up by Rab 19 days ago, families insist
The Rapid Action Battalion claims to have arrested six people on Sunday on charge of plotting to kill three doctors, but the families of four arrestees allege they were kidnapped by law enforcers 19 days ago on August 13.
The father of an arrestee even filed a case with Savar police on August 17. He mentioned that his son Taufiqul Islam Tushar along with three friends was kidnapped by unknown people from a roadside tea-stall in the evening of August 13.
The missing incident was also reported in different print and electronic media.
Several hundred people went missing or fell victims to “forced disappearance” in the last few years and in most cases fingers were pointed to the law enforcers.
Talking to The Daily Star, members of the four families identically claimed the kidnappers appeared to be law enforcers as they had used handcuffs. The incident took place in presence of many people, who later gave eyewitnesses’ accounts to them, they added.
The family members thought their dear ones were killed or gone forever. But the television news on Rab’s arrest of six “plotters” alerted them that they were still alive and subject to injustice by the law enforcers.
The issue surfaced at the Court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Dhaka yesterday when the six “plotters” were brought in by the Mirpur police seeking 10-day remand for each of them. The family members of the four also thronged there to challenge the charge brought against them.
If their allegation is true that the Rab picked them up 19 days ago, then the elite force has blatantly violated the law and the Constitution by not producing them before the court within 24 hours of the arrest.
The Rab on September 3 arranged a press briefing at its headquarters. Newspersons present were told that dentist Dr Md Kamrul Hassan, 29, a member of pro-BNP Doctors’ Association of Bangladesh (DAB), Mithu alias Prasanta, 22, Towfiqul Islam Tushar, 23, a manager of Satata Enterprise in Savar, Joynal Abedin, 25, Md Mostafa, 26, and Mohorom Ali, 35, a driver and owner of a minibus of Village Line Paribahan, were arrested at 11:30pm the previous day with a pistol, three bullets and a sharp weapon in their possession.
At the briefing, Rab Director Commander M Sohail claimed through the arrests of the six from different places in and around the capital, they have foiled a bid to “kill” three doctors following an internal feud between two groups of DAB.
Among them, dentist Dr Hassan had “hired” the other five to kill three DAB doctors, he claimed.
The Rab handed the six over to Mirpur police on Monday night and filed a case under the Arms Act.
The court granted three-day remand for Mithu and Joynal, while Kamrul, Tushar, Mostafa and Mohorom Ali were sent to jail.
At the dock, Mithu, Tushar, Mostofa and Mohorom told The Daily Star that during their confinement, they were kept blind-folded always and therefore they could not see where they were.
The four youths also said they never knew and saw Dr Kamrul before, while Kamrul also said he did not know them.
Talking to The Daily Star at the court premises, Tushar’s father Tajul Islam, who filed the kidnapping case with Savar police on August 17, said, “My son and his three friends were kidnapped while they were having tea.
Jannatul Ferdous, wife of Mithu, said she got married with Mithu three years ago and as far as she knew, her husband was not involved in any criminal activities.
Joynal’s mother Mamtaj Begum said her son was kidnapped when he had gone to Savar at his maternal uncle’s house from their Mirpur house.
Contacted, Lt Col Ziaul Hasan, director of Intelligence Wing of Rab, termed all the allegations made by those four youths and their families false.
Lt Col Ziaul also said whenever any criminal is arrested, he claims to be innocent.
Asked about detention 19 days ago and filing of a case with Savar police, the Intelligence Wing chief of Rab said, “When the criminals could sense that Rab men had been following them, they went into hiding even without informing their families.”
He claimed that they did not arrest any of them before September 2 and did not keep them illegally confined violating the laws.
Repeated bids to reach the Savar police chief for his comment about the case and their findings in this connection have failed as he did not respond.