The disappearance of four youths from Banani in the capital city Dhaka, is a matter of grave concern. Of the four, Shafayet Hossain and Zain Hossain Khan (Pavel) are students of North South University and Mehdi of Barisal BM College. Sujan did an IT course from Daffodil University and is now working. They are between the ages of 20 and 25.
Based on news reports of their disappearance, a similarity might be drawn with the youth involved in past militant acts. The police are also indicating as much.
The four youth were seen together on Thursday evening (1 December), at Northern Cafe in Banani bazar. Their parents filed general diaries (GD) with the police after they went missing. The parents of three of the boys said their sons were very moderate in their religious views, with no sign of any extremist outlook whatsoever. We feel there should be no preconceived notions in investigating the matter or drawing any conclusions.
The questions which loom large area, have these young men voluntarily run away from? Are they involved in any conspiracy? If they have run away on their own accord, there is reason for concern. Even before the Holey Artisan incident, several young men had gone missing. Later it was unearthed that they were involved in various acts of militancy, in collusion with each other. The law enforcement agencies arrested several other suspected militants in line with them and some of the suspects were killed in gunfights.
If the missing four youths are indeed involved in militancy, as the police hint, then there is a reason for public concern. The government had previously announced that all involved in the Holey Artisan incident had been caught and the situation was under control. On the other hand, if these young men have been picked up by others or abducted, that too is a fearful matter.
It is of utmost importance to unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of these four youth. It is the duty of the law enforcement agencies, that is, the government, to retrieve these boys in an unharmed condition, solve the mystery and inform the public about the matter. If they are involved in any subversive activities, they can always be tried under the prevailing laws.