The family of an online journalist missing since October 10 has asked the government to take urgent steps to find him out.
Parents and siblings of Utpal Das, senior reporter of online newspaper Purbapaschim, on Thursday said they just wanted him back alive.
Addressing a press conference at Crime Reporters’ Association of Bangladesh in Dhaka, Utpal’s father Chitta Ranjan Das, a retired headmaster of a primary school in Narsingdi, also asked journalists to try all possible measures to find him out.
Utpal talked to his mother on October 10 for the last time and since then he remained traceless and his phone was found switched off, said Chitta Ranjan Das.
Some days after Utpal went missing, he said, he had a phone call demanding ransom but he could not return the call later as the called was found inactive.
‘I want to know that my son is alive. I want to talk to him. I have no ability to pay ransom,’ the father said. Utpal’s mother had become disappointed and taken sick, he added.
Utpal’s sisters Babita Rani Das and Kabita Rani Das and brother Palash Chandra Das was present at the press conference. Pir Habibur Rahman, chief editor of Purbapaschim, said his news portal was closed days before Utpal went missing and he was unaware about the reason.
He said he and Utpal went to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission to get the reasons that prompted the commission to shut the news portal down.
Asked whether Utpal faced anger from any quarter for his Facebook posts on sensitive issues, he said he was not aware about his Facebook posts.
The online news portal’s editor Khugista Nur-e-Naharin was also present.
Meanwhile, human rights organization Ain O Salish Kendra in a statement expressed its concern over missing of the young journalist for 16 days and demanded his immediate reless.
‘Investigation is launched and let it be completed,’ said the inspector general of police AKM Shahidul Hoque responding to a set of questions from reporters in a press conference at police headquarters on Thursday.
Two general diaries were filed with the Motijheel police station in Dhaka over the issue.
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