British Bangladeshi, another held after three years of disappearance

Muktadir Rashid | Published: 00:24, May 22,2019 | Updated: 15:39, May 23,2019


A Bangladeshi origin British citizen and another youth, who reportedly disappeared three years ago, were arrested, as claimed by the police, on May 17 and produced before a Dhaka metropolitan magistrate’s court.
The arrest of Saudi-born British-Bangladeshi physics teacher Yasin Mohammad Abdus Samad Talukder came up 22 days after the home ministry on April 25 sent a letter to the foreign ministry to inform the British High Commission in Dhaka that he was not in custody.
‘Yasin is a British citizen. The British High Commission [in Dhaka] keeps communicating with us seeking consular access to him, so we have given our final report stating that he is not in our custody,’ home ministry joint secretary Munim Hasan told New Age on May 19.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police Detective Branch inspector Rabiul Alam said that they arrested Yasin and Tehzeeb Karim in front of Gausul Azam mosque at Banani in Dhaka at dawn on May 17.
Yasin’s family told New Age on Monday that they came to know that Yasin was arrested on May 17 in a case filed under the Anti-Terrorism Act in January 2018, in which he was not named.
‘We have got the information and are trying to meet him in person,’ said Yasin’s mother Suraiya Parvin Talukdar.
Tehzeeb, who once reportedly visited Pakistan and Yemen, also had gone missing on May 17, 2016, said the family while the police had said he was wanted by them.
In 2016, metropolitan police deputy commissioner (media and public relations) Masudur Rahman claimed that they had information about Tehzeeb’s links to extremist group Ansar Al Islam.
His family had told media in 2016 that he became ‘extremely religious’ after completing A level but he was coming back to ‘normal life’ before he went ‘missing’.
Tehzeeb phoned his family at 5:30pm on May 17, 2016 from inside Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on his return from Bangkok and he could not be traced after that, said the family.
The family told New Age on Monday that Tehzeeb was produced before a court on May 17, 2019 and taken to Kashimpur jail.
‘Tehzeeb in prison is my son,’ said his father Jainul Karim on Monday evening.
According to a BBC report published on March 18, 2011, Tehzeeb’s brother Rajib Karim, who worked for British Airways, was jailed for 30 years in the United Kingdom in 2011 on charge of plotting to blow up a plane.
New York-based Human Rights Watch in a report in July 2017 stated that the British High Commission confirmed that Yasin was ‘detained in July 2016,’ and the British Foreign Office was ‘continuing to press the Bangladesh authorities for consular access’.
Bangladesh authorities had been denying that they had Yasin in custody since then.
A home ministry letter sent to the foreign ministry and the British High Commission on March 25 stated that no information could be gathered although letters were sent the police and the Rapid Action Battalion to determine Yasin’s whereabouts.
In March, the home ministry again sent letters to the authorities concerned and on April 25 they concluded he was not in their custody.
Yasin’s mother Suraiya Parvin Talukdar filed a general diary with Banani police station alleging that he was abducted by the law enforcers on July 14, 2016.
She filed another case in December 2016 with Bhasantek police station against a group of people who allegedly cheated her and took Tk 50 lakh promising his release.
The Criminal Investigation Department in filed a charge sheet in the case in February 2019 against three people but could not identify who ‘abducted’ Yasin.
Yasin, who was born in Saudia Arabia and earned a British citizenship, did for his O and A levels in Bangladesh at Manarat International School in Dhaka before leaving for London in 2001 to study mechanical engineering at Queen Mary’s College.
According to his mother, he was mugged in the United Kingdom in 2005 which resulted in his becoming highly religious.
In 2006, he returned to Dhaka and became a physics teacher at private coaching centres.
His mother earlier said that five years after his return to Dhaka, British intelligence agency MI6 officers interviewed him at the British High Commission in Dhaka in 2011.
On July 12, 2016, just two days before Yasin went missing, a national daily published an article stating that Yasin was among the suspects listed in a First Information Report, filed five months earlier with Shahbagh police station, for conspiring to attack private buildings.
He had gone missing just two weeks after the Holey Artisan attack in Gulshan on July 1, 2016 which left 29 people, including foreigners and suspected extremist, killed.

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