Politicians, academics and ethnic minority leaders on Wednesday expressed concern over the disappearance of United People’s Democratic Front leader Michael Chakma for the past nine months and asked the government to trace him immediately.
Addressing a press conference organised by Pahari Chhatra Parishad, Ganatantrik Juba Forum, Hill Woman’s Federation, and United Workers Democratic Front, associate bodies of the UPDF, at the National Press Club in Dhaka, they alleged that though nine months have passed after Michael’s disappearance, police did not record any general diary even after the High Court issued a directive to the police in this regard.
They asked the government to return Michael to his family in good health. Michael disappeared on April 9, 2019 when he was on his way to Dhaka from Kanchpur in Narayanganj. Sunayan Chakma, general secretary of the Pahari Chhatra Parishad, demanded to rescue Michel in good health and returning him to his family. The Sonargaon police station must record general diary according to the directive of High Court, extra judicial killing and enforced disappearances should be stopped, and bans on rallies in Chittagong Hill Tracts should be withdrawn and arbitrary arrests in the hills should be stopped, he said.
He alleged that they, after Michael’s disappearance, went to Sonargaon police station to file a general diary but police did not accept it and the officer-in-charge told them that he might have been arrested by any agency as he was accused in different cases.
‘The Sonargaon police, at one stage, asked us to go to capital’s Kafrul police station as the last location of his mobile phone was seen at Kafrul area,’ he said, adding, ‘We went to Kafrul police station but they also did not record our general diary,’ he said.
Michael’s sister on May 13, 2019 filed a writ petition with the High Court seeking whereabouts of Michael and the court ordered the Sonargaon Police to accept the general diary but they are yet to accept it, he said.
Former Dhaka University professor Akmal Hossain called on all the left and democratic political parties to be united to press for the demand of rescue and release of Michael.
Jatiya Mukti Council secretary Faiezul Hakim said that Michael, a political activist and central leader the council, had called on all to be united to end the fascist rule of Awami League government.
Writer and anthropologist Rahnuma Ahmad urged all the citizens’ rights bodies to take united initiatives to rescue Michael.
Subhadra Chakma, elder sister of Michael, expressed dissatisfactions over the failures of rescuing his brother in nine months. Socialist Party of Bangladesh(Marxist) central leader Manas Nadi, left leaders Jafar Hossain and Bahnishikha Jamali and others were also present at the press conference.