The family, relatives and followers of Bangladesh Nationalist Party former organising secretary M Ilias Ali, reportedly a victim of enforced disappearance, blamed government’s apathy for the failure to find out his whereabouts even inside five years of the disappearance.
They believed that Ilias Ali was still alive and could be brought back to his family, if the government took sincere steps.
Ilias Ali, also a former BNP lawmaker and Sylhet district BNP president, and his driver Ansar Ali were disappeared from near his house at Banani in Dhaka midnight after April 17, 2012.
‘As a citizen, I want that the government will find him and give him to us. I am counting the days to get him back,’ Ilias’ wife Tahsina Rushdir Luna, mother of three children, told New Age.
Soon after the disappearance of her husband, Luna filed a general diary with Banani police station.
The police recovered his abandoned car near his Banani house and found his driver’s mobile phone on the passenger seat on early April 18, 2012.
BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia had alleged that an intelligence agency and the Rapid Action Battalion picked up Ilias from his car but the claim was then rejected by the government and the battalion.
After disappearance of Ilias, Luna said, she met the prime minister, journalists, rights activists and law enforcers for news of her husband but she got no positive news.
‘I met the prime minister and she assured me, but now I could see that there was no cooperation even from the law enforcing agencies. I see no initiative from their part to find him [Ilias] out,’ she said.
She alleged that the law enforcing agencies kept communications with them for three or four months after Ilias’ disappearance. ‘We get no response from them since then.’
Ilias was born on January 1, 1961, at Ramdhana of Bishwanath in Sylhet. He served as the general secretary of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, the BNP-backed student organisation.
In 2001, he was elected lawmaker from Sylhet-2 parliamentary constituency and was very vocal against the Tipaimukh Dam and border killings.
The convener of Ilias Mukti Sangram Parishad, a BNP-backed social platform demanding whereabouts of the disappeared leader, Sheikh Makhan Miah, accused the government of not taking no effective step to rescue Ilias.
‘The government’s utter apathy to the issue proved its involvement in Ilias Ali’s enforced disappearance,’ he alleged.
Sylhet district BNP general secretary Ali Ahmed said that it was the government’s responsibility to find out a missing citizen.
‘But, the government did not trace Ilias even in five years,’ he said.
He said that they had sent a memorandum to prime minister Sheikh Hasina through the deputy commissioner’s office on Monday seeking her intervention to return Ilias Ali alive to his family.
Banani police station officer-in-charge GM Forman Ali said that they were still investigating the matter and trying to find him out.
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