9 Jhenaidah people go missing in 3 days

Ahmed Zayeef and Azad Rahman, from Jhenaidah | Update:

At least nine people have gone missing in Chuadanga, Baruikhali and Porahati villages of Jhenaidah district in the first ten days of the month.

Local police said law enforcement might have picked them up for their alleged link to militancy.

The people who went missing are Md Titu Biswash, 25, elder brother of Tuhin Biswah, who was killed in an anti-militancy raid by police, rickshaw-puller Abdul Latif, father-in-law of another suspected militant Abdullah, Md Shaheen Jaman, 22, a third-year honours student at Government Keshab Chandra (KC) High School,  Rana Ahmed, 25, a college student, bicycle mechanic Monowar Hossain, 32, worker Limon Biswash, 17, battery-run three-wheeler driver Al Amin, 25, garments businessman Md Saheb Ali, 42, and Emon Hossain, student of Wazir Ali School and College.

They went missing between the 4th and 6th of this month.

Of them, six people were picked up from their residences by some plain-clothes people coming in a 'white microbus', said family members of the victims.

The three others did not return home after going out for different purposes.

Porahati and Baruikhali villages are located nearly three kilometres away from the Jhenaidah town, where police raided a house suspecting it to be a militant hideout of converted Muslim Abdullah. The counter terrorism unit of the police then claimed to have seized huge explosives, but they did not find anyone in the house during the raid.

Later on 7 May, Abdullah and one Tuhin Biswash of the Chuadanga village were killed in a police raid at Maheshpur upazila.

Police claimed that they were members of 'Neo-JMB'.

Jhenaidah Sadar officer-in-charge (OC) Horendra Sarkar told Prothom Alo that only Titu Biswash's family filed a general diary (GD) with the police station.

Family members of the other victims do not want to file a GD, the OC added.

Asked if they had been picked up by the law enforcement, the OC said, "You can't rule out this possibility."

Local people said members of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested Tuhin's brother Selim Biswash and their cousin Pranta Biswash a few days ago.

RAB on Wednesday claimed that they had recovered suicide vests, chemicals and explosives on information provided by Selim and Pranta.

No one, except the bed-ridden mother, could be found when our reporter went to Titu Biswash's house on Wednesday.

A neighbour said Titu was a middleman doing land business in the area. He was last seen in BSCIC area of the town at about 8:00pm, the neighbour added.

Md Saheb Ali lives nearly a half kilometre away from Titu. He has a burqa shop in Jhenaidah town.

Saheb Ali's mother in-law Amena Khatun said around five people, in a white microbus, 'asked her to show one's house.'

Shahinur Zaman's house was 40-50 yards away from Shaheb Ali. He is an HSC student and works at a community centre in the locality.

His father Anowar Hossain, a motorcycle mechanic, told Prothom Alo that his son was picked up by some unidentified people coming in a 'white microbus'.

He alleged that when he went to the police station to file a general diary (GD), police suggested him not to file any GD in this regard.

Another victim, Limon Biswah's mother Nasiban Nesa said his son worked at a BSISC factory. He went to offer Asr prayer, but did not return home.

Battery-run three-wheeler driver Al Amin lives in Porahati village. After he went missing, people told his wife not to expose anything over the issue. So, she kept silent.

A neighbour of Rana Ahmed, who is a distant relative to Al Amin, said Rana was picked up by some unidentified people at night.

Another victim Emon, who was a student of a local college, was also taken away by some unidentified people 11 days ago.

Commander of a RAB-6 camp near Chuadanga village major Monir Ahmed said, "We have no 'knowledge' of them. They may have links to militancy and they might have gone into hiding."


*This piece, originally published in Prothom Alo Bangla edition, has been rewritten in English by Toriqul Islam.

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