Four people, who were abducted over the last 10 days from Bhaluka in Mymensingh, were produced yesterday at a media briefing by Rab, whose officials claimed the four were involved in ambushing a prison van and snatching away three top JMB militants in February.
Coaching centre tutors Kamal Hossain Sabuj and Abu Bakar Siddique Swapan were abducted from their homes by unidentified criminals around 4:00am on Monday. Islami Bank employee Elias Uddin was kidnapped while on his way home on the evening of April 21. And Yusuf Ali Sohagh, a student at Mymensingh Homoeopathic Medical College, was picked up from his home early on April 20, family members said.
Since then there had been no trace of them until Rab paraded them before the media yesterday.
Along with them, four others were presented in the briefing, three of whom went missing from the capital's Kamalapur railway station on April 19, family members said.
All the three -- Suhel Rana, his brother Morshed Alam and Basir Uddin -- are from Bhaluka of Mymensingh.
Asked when they were arrested, Rab Legal and Media Wing Director ATM Habibur Rahman said, “They were picked up at different times from different places.”
But he refused to give the specific dates of their arrest.
Under the law, arrestees must be produced in court within 24 hours of their detention.
But the law was flouted in this case, as in many other cases, raising serious questions about abductions and about the identities of those involved in such incidents as the country continues to see a spree of kidnap and disappearances.
Between January and March, 39 people have fallen prey to forced disappearances allegedly by law enforcers, according to Ain o Salish Kendra.
The parading of the four abductees by the Rab yesterday has also left many seriously considering the repeated claims by the families of missing persons that the law enforcers were behind the abductions.
“In the name of combating crime, Rab has created a trigger-happy culture. There are allegations that they are violating the right to justice of the alleged criminals. They are cooking up cruel theatrics to cover up their abductions and other misdeeds which people find difficult to believe,” said Iftekharuzzaman, executive director of TIB.
About the three persons, he told The Daily Star: “I also notice a kind of cruel theatrics and it is natural to question the authenticity of the narratives. Questions may be genuinely raised whether they are taking the law into their own hands. This is leading to an erosion of public trust in this important institution.”