Missing Bangladesh photojournalist yet to be traced

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:52, Mar 14,2020 | Updated: 18:51, Mar 14,2020


Journalist Shafiqul Islam Kajal’s son Manoram Palak and wife Julia Ferdousi talks to journalists at the National Press Club in Dhaka on Friday over the disappearance of Shafiqul on Tuesday. — New Age photo

The family of daily Pakkhakal’s missing photographer and editor Shafiqul Islam Kajol on Friday at a press conference said that he was last seen near the Hatirpool intersection in the capital while on a motorbike at about 6:45pm on March 10 before he went missing.

Kajol’s wife Julia Ferdouse Nayan and their son Monorom Polok at the press conference at the National Press Club said that they saw no reason for him to go into hiding, nor they received any threat from any quarter  nor anyone demanded any ransom for his release.

Both of them called on the government to engage its law enforcement agencies to trace out the photographer who worked for different national dailies in Dhaka and freelanced for international media outlets.

‘The law enforcement agencies did not share anything with us over his disappearance. What we come to learn so far is that he was last seen at about 6:45pm near Hatirpool Bazar as he was heading towards Paribagh. And both of his mobile phones were switched off at about 7:00pm, which was absolutely unusual,’ said the son.

Julia Ferdouse said that they started calling him in the night after he had not come back home by 11:00pm, the usual time for him to return home from work.

Earlier on March 11, the family had said that the photographer left his house in Bakhshibazar at about 3:00pm on March 10 and went missing.

 He went missing a day after Awami League parliamentarian Saifuzzaman Shikhor filed a case against daily Manabjamin editor-in-chief Matiur Rahman Chowdhury, reporter Al Amin and 30 others under the Digital Security Act.

In that case he was named as the third suspect.

Monorom said, ‘My father was not aware of the case filed against him when he went out of the house…We came to know about it when we started making Facebook posts later in the night seeking his whereabouts.’

‘We approached Detective [Branch] officials but they said that none was arrested in the case so far,’ he said, adding that his motorbike also went missing.

He said that his father had an office at Meher Tower near the Hatirpool intersection where he was last seen.

The CCTV cameras of the nearby Motaleb Plaza market focusing the road have been out of order for a long time, said the market security supervisor, Azizul Islam.    

Chawkbazar police station sub-inspector Munshi Abdus Lokman is investigating the complaint over his disappearance but he is yet to visit the location in Hatirpool where he was last seen on March 10.

‘I will go there shortly,’ Lokman said.

Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal president Hasanul Haq Inu and general secretary Shirin Akhter in a statement on Thursday demanded his return unhurt and urged the government and its law enforcement agencies to demonstrate immediate action in this regard.

Shazzad Hossain, JASOD office secretary, said that journalist Shafiqul was one of their leaders in Meherpur district unit and a councillor for their national council 2020.

Want stories like this in your inbox?

Sign up to exclusive daily email