Incidents of enforced disappearance continued across the country despite strong criticism from rights groups who have been demanding the government to initiate judicial commission to find perpetrators behind the crimes.
The social and rights groups in separate statements called on the government to find out the persons went missing or disappeared, and also to find the persons behind such activities.
Rights group Odhikar reported that over 400 people became victims of enforced disappearance since Awami League assumed in power in 2009 and, said highest number of such incident took place in 2016.
In half of the cases, families accused Rapid Action Battalion for incidents while police and its detective branch were accused of over a hundred incidents.
‘We are extremely worried about the situation... it is high time to find out who are behind the scene,’ said Kazi Reazul Hoque, the chairman at the National Human Rights Commission.
The issue of enforced disappearance again grabbed the newspaper headlines after an anti-extremism analyst Mubashar Hasan Caesar, a North South University assistant professor, disappeared after he emerged from a meeting at the UNDP’s country office in Dhaka’s Agargaon on November 7.
Mubashar Hasan Caesar, who is an assistant professor of political science in North South University, was also a counter-extremism analyst with his PhD on political Islam. His disappearance caused serious tension among society as both Ain O Salish Kendra and Sushasaner Jonno Nagorik, which popularly known as Sujan, in separate statements on Thursday urged the government to find out Mubashar Hasan and others.
The ASK statement demanded that the government ‘rescued’ Mubashar Hasan and others disappeared in recent time, and proper investigation against the incident.
In the statement, Sujan said it was the responsibility of the government to ensure the security of its citizens. ‘There are doubts among many people whether the law enforcers were involved in this act,’ the statement read.
‘For a long time, we have been calling for initiation of an independent agency to investigate the crimes and find out the perpetrators,’ said prominent rights activist Nur Khan Liton.
The home minister Asaduzzaman Khan, in a function last week, said such incidents were no way acceptable while the inspector general of police AKM Shahidul Hoque in a function in Chandpur said on Friday that the incidents of missing, abduction and disappearance were not new phenomena, and there was law against these crimes since British period.
The police chief claimed they become successful to detect 75 per cent perpetrators of such incidents and still struggling for rest of the portions.
According to Odhikar, at least 67 persons were allegedly disappeared from January to September. Among them, seven were found dead and 29 were later produced before various courts or surfaced alive. The whereabouts of 31 persons are still unknown.
In October, seven persons allegedly disappeared. Among them, two were later produced before the court and surfaced alive. The whereabouts of five other persons are still unknown.
Of them, journalist Utpal Das, 29, working with online portal Purboposhchim, remains missing since October 10.
On November 7, Abu Muhammad Jamal Rahman, a pharmacist of Sanofi Aventis, was also disappeared and his family filed a missing complaint with the Khilgaon police station.
On November 8, a publisher, Tanvir Hasan Karim, was taken in from his house by the plainclothes and a missing complaint was filed with the Gulshan police station.
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