Farhad Mazhar released in own custody, hospitalised

Muktadir Rashid and Tapos Kanti Das | Published: 00:05, Jul 05,2017 | Updated: 00:13, Jul 05,2017

Farhad Mazhar

Daughter and wife of poet, writer and researcher Farhad Mazhar give him an emotional hug as he was brought to Adabar Police Station in Dhaka on Tuesday morning after police rescued him from Jessore on Monday night. — New Age photo

Poet, writer and researcher Farhad Mazhar, who was allegedly abducted from Dhaka Monday morning and found on a bus in Jessore Monday night, was admitted to BIRDEM hospital after a Dhaka metropolitan magistrate’s court released him in his own custody on Tuesday.
Metropolitan magistrate Ahsan Habib passed the order after hearing a petition moved by Farhad Mazhar’s counsel Sanaullah Miah.
Earlier in the afternoon, the Detective Branch of police produced Farhad before metropolitan magistrate Laskar Sohel Rana for recording his statement in an abduction case filed by his wife Farida Akhter.
His family said that he was suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiac problem and he would make no statement until his release from the hospital.
Attending physicians at BIRDEM said that he was
under the treatment of medicine specialist AKM Musa and his treatment would begin after some medical examinations.
The family said that Farhad was traumatised by the incidents. Police investigators said that they also found him in a trauma.
The police said that Farhad was taken in police custody after he was found on a Dhaka-bound bus from Khulna more than 18 hours into his reported abduction by unknown people from Adabar in Dhaka.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police joint commissioner (Detective Branch) Abdul Baten at a briefing at the DMP media centre on Tuesday said that they were investigating who were behind the abduction.
None was arrested so far, he said.
Baten said that Farhad told police interrogators that he went out of his house at Adabar in the morning to buy medicine for his eyes.
Some people took him into a microbus and blindfolded him, and he was taken away, Baten said.
He said that the investigation would be conducted on the basis of Farhad’s statement recorded by a metropolitan magistrate in Dhaka.
As a reporter mentioned that Farhad’s location was found in Faridpur for over two hours and a half, Baten said that they were yet to get total movement of Farhad on Monday.
He said that they got verbal allegation from Farhad’s family and launched investigation engaging all units of the police.
‘Finally, he was rescued from Noapara of Avoynagar in Jessore between 10:00pm and 10:30pm. He was brought to Dhaka in the morning [Tuesday],’ he said.
Farhad’s phone was used to call his wife demanding a ransom of Tk 35 lakh and an abduction case was filed by his wife Monday night, Baten said.
He said that Farhad talked to his family from his phone. ‘His wife was asked to arrange Tk 35 for his released…we are investigating the issues,’ he added.
‘We tried to divulge how he was abducted and who had abducted him…He will be considered as a victim in the case,’ Baten said.
One of the police interrogators said that Farhad told them that he woke up at about 3:30am on Monday, was working on his computer, faced problem with his eyes and went out of his house at about 5:00am.
He went to buy medicine from a nearby hospital and wished to wander for a while.
The interrogator said that Farhad could not remember whether he used lift or staircase when he went out of his house and could not remember who closed the door after he got out of his apartment.
Farhad told the interrogators that three people pushed him into a microbus and headed towards Gabtali.
The interrogator said that once Farhad was taken to the microbus, he could make a call to his wife from his phone.
In the first information report, Farida Akhter said that she received the first call at about 5:30am and Farhad was saying ‘they are taking me away, they will kill me.’
The interrogator said that Farhad tried to convince the abductors and asked how much money they need to release him.
The abductors demanded Tk 2 crore and then Tk 1 crore and finally they agreed to release him in exchange of Tk 35 lakh.
Farhad then made the second call, the interrogator said.
Farida told reporters Monday night that second call was made at about 6:20am when Farhad asked her to arrange Tk 30-35 lakh.
The interrogator said that Farhad said he was dropped at KDA Avenue in Khulna city at about 7:00pm and the abductors handed him over a ticket of a Dhaka-bound Hanif Paribahan bus.
His family said that Farhad made a call at about 7:30pm and said he was freed and dropped.
Farhad told the interrogators that after being dropped, he approached a rickshaw-puller to know the location and went to a nearby restaurant called Grill House.
The interrogator said that Farhad said he was in the restaurant for nearly an hour when the restaurant manager had followed him several times.
Grill House manager Rezaul Kabir said that a tried person came to his restaurant at 8:20pm and ordered plain rice, mutton and dal.
‘He was not carrying anything with him at this time,’ Reazul said, adding, later he watched television news and confirmed he was Farhad Mazhar. ‘We went out of restaurant but did not find him.’
The DMP interrogator said Farhad said that he went to Hanif Parihaban ticket counter at Shibbari after 8:45pm and he charged his cell phone. Another DMP interrogator said they found his cell location at Shibbari at about 4:00pm.
Farhad then got a Dhaka-bound bus, sat on the last seat and slept.
Nazmus Sakib Sadi, a Hanif Paribahan’s ticket counter manager at Shibbari, told New Age that Farhad first came to him at about 3:40pm and he was wearing a ‘turban’.
‘He was asking me whether they have any tickets for AC bus for Dhaka in the night. I said yes and asked his name for issuing ticket and he replied his name is Gafur,’ Sakib said.
Bus driver Saidur Rahman said that at Shibbari, four people including the elderly man get to the bus and of the four two people got found after a while.
The police said that from his side bag they found a black-Panjabi, a vest and mobile phone charger and Tk 12,500. The security guard of his apartment said they saw Farhad leaving the building without any bag.
A follower of Farhad said he never saw him wearing black panjabiji. 

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