A single mother implored the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, to return her only son assumed to be detained under the custody of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB).
The mother, Momtaz Begum, visited the RAB-1 office at Uttara on Monday in search of her son Sohel Hossain who was allegedly picked up along with his Hanif Mridha by lawmen impersonators on 27 February.
According to the claim of his family, Md Hanif Mridha whom the RAB claimed to have died in hospital after RAB detention on Friday, was picked up by the lawmen.
Sohel’s mother Momtaz has hoped that her son is still alive under RAB custody.
Momtaz visited the RAB office along with Sohel’s wife Nipa, their four-year-old son Abir Hossain Mahin and a relative, Abdul Jalil.
Sohel is her only child and her earnest request to the prime minister was: “Please, return my only son.”
While talking to Prothom Alo correspondent outside the RAB-1 camp in capital, Momtaz recalled her days of hardship when Sohel’s father divorced her a year after the birth of the boy in 1974.
She had to migrate to Dhaka from the southern district of Barguna to bring up the child and was forced to undertake begging for survival. Sohel studied up to SSC level in a school at Azimpur. He is now involved in 2nd hand furniture business at Gulshan-1. He married in 2006 and the couple is blessed with a boy now.
According to Momtaz Begum, Sohel and Hanif went to attend a religious congregation at Charmonai in Barisal last month. They returned in a launch piloted by one of her cousins, Sagir Master.
The two friends got off the launch near Kanchpur Bridge at Siddhirganj, but Sagir saw from the launch that a group of plainclothesmen picked up them in a car while they were waiting for transport, Momtaz said.
Sagir informed Momtaz of the matter over phone at once. She rushed to Dhaka from her village home in search of him, but in vain.
Hanif’s family also said RAB men picked up both Hanif and Sohel. Hanif’s brother Halim Mridha lodged a general diary with Siddhirganj police station on 4 March about the incident.
Momtaz said she received a phone call came from an unknown number and the anonymous caller, introducing himself as a man of the administration, asked: “Are you the mother of Mantu (nickname of Sohel)?”
She went on saying, “I said ‘yes’ and asked his identity, but the man didn’t disclose his name or identity. The caller told me that he’ll call me again, but no further call came.
“RAB contacted Hanif’s family, but not with us as yet. I don’t know where and how my son is. I implore the prime minster and the RAB, please give me my son back,” said the anxious mother.
RAB-1 commander lieutenant colonel Sarwar bin Quasem claimed that the RAB has no complicity with the incident. Nonetheless, the matter will be looked into, he added.