Writer, columnist and poet Farhad Mazhar on Saturday said that the Detective Branch of police sent him to court handing him a written copy for making a statement which he handed over to the magistrate and then collapsed on a sofa a day after he was ‘abducted’ by unknown people and rescued by police on July 3.
He made the explanation at a news conference at his Shyamali house in Dhaka two days after a Dhaka metropolitan magistrate allowed police to prosecute Farhad and his wife Farida Akhter, a rights activist, accusing them of staging a drama of abduction and lodging a ‘false’ case.
‘You should be sure that it was not a drama,’ said Farhad, demanding justice and stop of abduction and enforced disappearance in the country.
On December 7, the same court in the morning allowed Farida time to file a petition against the Detective Branch’s report that found no proof of abduction of Farhad. In the afternoon, the same court rejected the time petition and allowed police to prosecute Farhad and Farida.
Farida, complainant of the abduction case filed with Adabor police station, said that they would now seek justice to the higher court.
‘After rescue, I was taken to Adabor police station in Dhaka while I was physically and mentally collapsed. I was barred from going to my family in spite of assurance [by police]. [I] was taken to DB office after keeping me waiting at [Adabor] police station,’ Farhad recalled.
‘At DB office, I was interrogated and cross-examined while I was stunned, tired and collapsed and was sent to a magistrate with a written copy for giving a statement under Section 164 [of the
CrPC]. With a confusing state of mind, I could only told the honourable court that my physical and mental condition was very vulnerable and I am still frightened and traumatised. What the DB office made me to write, I am submitting only that to you,’ he recalled.
‘Then I lay down on the sofa in the magistrate’s room taking his kind permission,’ Farhad recalled.
Their lawyer Syed Zaynul Abedin Mesbah said that neither he nor Farhad was aware about the contents of the ‘statement.’
Both Farhad and Farida said that they kept mum after the abduction and rescue for proper investigation but, instead of proper investigation, police continued to threaten prosecute and harass them socially.
Farhad claimed that he was blind folded after abduction and did everything asked by the abductors to save his life.
As per the abductors’ direction, he claimed, he got on a Hanif Paribahan bus and became frightened and broken in fear of death.
He said that he woke up hearing shouting and found that some plainclothes were forcing him to get down.
Farhad said that members of Rapid Action Battalion, after altercation with plainclothes, took him to Abhaynagar police station where police misbehaved with him and compelled him to say that he had come out for ‘recreation.’
He said that later he was presented before journalists and was hurled abusive words and forced to say the same statement.
‘Later police left for Dhaka with me by a police car and they sang song loudly throughout the way and I had to experience mental torture.’
He said that he later came to know and now could understand that the abductors had tried to take him crossing the border through Khulna-Jessore bordering area.
Farhad said that he, enduring all disrespect, had been speaking to end the culture of enforced disappearance and hoping that all the victims of enforced disappearance might come back to their family.
‘The government should take the responsibility.’
A government critic, Farhad was found on a bus in Jessore while travelling from Khulna to Dhaka, 18 hours after he went missing from Dhaka, on July 3.
On November 14, Detective Branch inspector Mahbubul Islam, also investigation officer of the Farhad abduction case, submitted the final report to Dhaka chief metropolitan magistrate’s court mentioning that they did not find any proof of abduction.
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