Md Hanif Mridha whom the RAB claimed to have died in hospital after RAB detention on Friday, was picked up by the lawmen last month, the victim’s family claimed on Sunday.
According to the statement of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), Hanif was detained from a bush beside Munmun Kabab shop in Khilkhet at 4:15pm on Friday when he was trying to flee as a RAB vehicle was going past the spot after the Ashkona RAB office attack.
Talking to the Prothom Alo on Saturday, RAB-1’s lieutenant colonel Sarowar Bin Quashem claimed that Hanif was taken to Kurmitola General Hospital after he felt chest pain while he was being taken to RAB office. He was said to have died at the hospital.
But talking to the Prothom Alo, Hanif’s family said he was picked up along with his friend Md Sohel Hossain Mantu by the police’s DB men impersonators on 27 February last from the capital’s Kanchpur Bridge area.
His family also mentioned that a general diary was filed with Narayanganj’s Siddhirganj police station in connection with the incident.
Sohel Hossain Mantu is still missing.
Hanif, a resident of Amragachhia village of Amtali upazila in Barguna, was involved in transport business, having three buses in the Turag transport service in Dhaka.
His friend Sohel, who is still missing, has furniture business in the capital’s Gulshan-2.
Hanif’s wife Kulsum Begum described how his husband and Sohel were picked by lawmen while talking to the Prothom Alo at the capital’s Rayerbazaar residence of Hanif on Sunday.
She said Hanif and Sohel went to Barisal to join the religious congregation of Charmonai Pir (religious leader) on 24 February and returned to Dhaka on 27 February by launch.
“They got down from the launch at Kanchpur bridge in the capital and our family driver Jewel went there with our car to pick them up. But he saw about 7-8 people, who identified themselves as DB officials, whisking them off to a Hiace car,” claimed Hanif’s wife.
“While several others got in our car and instructed driver Jewel at gunpoint to run the car to the direction they showed. As our car reached Purbachal, they later dropped him and took away our car after beating our driver,” claimed Kulsum.
Hanif’s brother Halim Mridha filed a GD on 4 March with Siddhirganj police station in connection with the incident.
Hanif’s brother Halim told the Prothom Alo that a white-coloured car of RAB-1 and a white-coloured Hiace car came to their Rayerbazar residence around 9:30am on 15 March morning.
“RAB-1’s white-car stood at the entry of Shah Ali’s lane and the Hiace car was parked in front of the gate of our residence. Four to five people entered our house along with Hanif and told Kulsum in front of other family members: ‘Your husband has assisted an unjust/unfair act’,” claimed victim’s brother.
Halim said the RAB member impersonators later asked his sister-in-law to bring Hanif’s cheque books before them. “They forced Hanif to sign several pages of the cheque books of Brac and Dutch-Bangla banks for an amount of Tk 670,000 in total,” he claimed.
Hanif’s brother-in-law Rezaul Islam said, “One of the four-to-five people [who visited Hanif’s house on 15 March] was in RAB uniform and was carrying arms. The nameplate attached with his uniform read ‘Iqbal’.
He said the other members of the team didn’t introduce themselves. They went back along with Hanif. “They also took away a motorbike of Pulsar brand which was kept in the house,” claimed Rezaul.
The family members came to know through television news that someone called Hanif died in Kurmitola Hospital on Friday and then they rushed to the hospital.
The family members confirmed the identity of Hanif after Airport police station’s inspector (investigation) Ezaz Shafi showed them a photo of the body.
The family members were told that the body will be handed over after autopsy.
Meanwhile, Sohel Hossain Mantu’s maternal uncle Md. Babu told the Prothom Alo over phone that Sohel, a man from the village of Chhoto Baizraat of Barguna’s Taltali, used to live in Jatrabari’s Dhalpur in the capital.
Sohel’s uncle said his nephew is still missing.
Ashkona attack suspect dies after RAB detention
*The article is rewritten in English by Abu Taib Ahmed