POST TIME: 10 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
12 students ‘missing’ since September 5
Say parents, guardians as they accuse police

12 students ‘missing’ since September 5

Families of 12 missing students hold a press meet at the conference room of the Crime Reporters' Association of Bangladesh (CRAB) in the capital yesterday . Focus Bangla Photo

A group of parents and guardians yesterday claimed that their sons were picked up by the Detective Branch (DB) of police in the early hours of September 5 (Wednesday). The made the allegation at a press conference held in Crime Reporters' Association of Bangladesh (CRAB) conference room, under the banner of ‘Helpless families of 12 missing sons’. The parents requested the law enforcement agencies to produce the students before a court if they are guilty. They informed journalists that the DB police have so far denied being involved in picking up these students.

The Independent contacted Mashiur Rahman, deputy commissioner of DB (North). “The Detective Branch didn’t conduct any such operation on the morning of September 5,” he said.

According to the statement of the parents and the guardians, these 12 students—along with some others—were picked up by the DB police from three separate messes in the two areas during a drive on the morning of September 5.

The messes are located in the city’s Tejgaon and Mohakhali areas.

The 12 “detained” students were identified as: Jahirul Islam Hasib, Saifullah Bin Mansur, Gazi M Borhan Uddin, Al Amin, Mujahidul Islam, Jahangir Alam, Tarek Aziz, Mahfuz, Raihanul Abedin, Tarek Aziz, Iftekhar Alam and Mehedi Hasan Rajib.

Talking with The Independent, Rafiqul Islam, father of Raihanul Abedin, said his son was picked up from the Rasulbagh mess in Tejagon in the early hours of September 5.

“After I heard the news, I rushed to the mess from my home in Khilkhet. I learned from the people present there that DB men in plainclothes had picked up my son along with others,” he added.

Rafiqul went to the police stations at Tejgaon and Mohakhali, but none of the police officials present there could give him any update on his son’s whereabouts. “When I went to the DB police, they denied picking up my son,”

he said. Rafiqul also said that his son was not involved with any political party. “He was a student of civil engineering in Dhaka Polytechnic Institute and was in the seventh semester there. I have no clue why he was picked up,” he added.

Like Rafiqul, Rashed Alam, brother of Iftekhar Alam, who was detained, too, does not have any idea why his brother, a student

of chemical engineering at Dhaka Polytechnic Institute, was picked up the same morning from the mess known as Yusuf Kutir in Tejkuni para.

On hearing the news, Rashed—who was in Noakhali at that time—came to Dhaka to find out what had happened to his brother. “We came to know that the DB police had picked up my brother. But when we went to the DB police, they denied knowledge of the matter,” he said.

Rashed also said a few other students who used to stay in Yusuf Kutir were also detained by the DB that morning, but they were later released. “One of those who were released told me that he was tortured by the DB, which tried to extract information whether that student were involved in spreading any rumours during the student-led protests for safer roads,” he claimed.

“I don’t know why they had picked up my brother, but they had probably done so to find out whether he was involved in the quota movement or the movement for road safety. I urge the law enforcers to produce my brother before court. My mother is sick with worry,” he added.

Mohammad Enamul Haq, father of Mohammad Jahirul Islam Hasib, told The Independent that Hasib had suffered from malaria from August 2 to August 16. “My son was at our home in village in Feni. He was not involved in any protests. He only went to Dhaka for the university admission tests,” he said.

He also said law enforcers were supposed to produce the students before a court on September 7, but the police had not done so till yesterday (Sunday). “I want to know where my son is,” he added.

The Independent contacted Obaidur Rahman, additional deputy commissioner (media) of the DB, but he said he was not aware of any such operation conducted by the DB.