The home ministry has recommended withdrawal of four law enforcement officials from Narayanganj on grounds of deteriorating law and order there, State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan told The Daily Star last night.
The four are Syed Nurul Islam, superintendent of police; Lt Col Tareque Sayeed Mohammad, Rab-11 commanding officer; Akhtar Hossain, officer-in-charge of Fatullah Police Station; and Abdul Matin, officer-in-charge of Siddhirganj Police Station.
A source said withdrawal of Manoj Kanti Boral, deputy commissioner of Narayanganj, has also been recommended.
The recommendations came in the wake of frequent abductions in Narayanganj.
Earlier in the day, the state minister for home said there was no reason to panic about abductions.
He was talking to journalists after a programme at a hotel in the capital.
Replying to a query, he said, “The government is not embarrassed. If you look back to previous years, you will see that such incidents had happened. Our administration and law enforcement agencies are working on it.”
Meanwhile in Noakhali, a union-level BNP leader was kidnapped yesterday, but was freed within five hours.
Two armed men abducted Abul Hossain, 65, president of Eojbalia union BNP, near his home at Khalifar Haat under Noakhali Sadar upazila around 9:00am, said Abul's son-in-law Bachchu Mia.
The captors released him five hours later at Islamganj, some six kilometres from where he was picked up. Later, police took him to Sudharam Police Station for quizzing.
Abul alleged that local criminal Liton and his cohorts had kidnapped him over previous enmity. Liton was behind bars for two years in a case lodged by Abul regarding land.
The abduction in Noakhali occurred a day after four people were kidnapped in Gazipur and Bhaluka of Mymensingh. Earlier on Sunday, seven people, including a senior lawyer and a ward councillor, were abducted in two incidents around same time in Narayanganj.
Two Gazipur victims were freed 18 hours after their abduction, while two abducted from Bhaluka and seven from Narayanganj are still missing.
One of the Gazipur victims, Din Mohan Mandol, yesterday said the abductors took them in a microbus without blindfolding them.
“They drove for an hour and changed the vehicle. At one point, one of them called someone over the phone and said they were in Nabinagar near Ashulia. Later, they kept us in a dark room,” Din told a press briefing at Gazipur police headquarters.
Abdul Baten, superintendent of Gazipur police, said the captors were on police radar and would be arrested soon.
In Narayanganj, followers of Nazrul Islam, the abducted councillor of ward-2, blocked the Dhaka-Chittagong highway in Mouchak area of Siddhirganj for the third straight day yesterday, demanding that law enforcers rescue him and his four aides.
Traffic was halted on the busy road for about two hours from 10:45am.
The demonstrators also demanded the arrest of Awami League leaders Nur Hossain and Mohammad Yasin, who have been accused in a case filed in this connection.
They withdrew the blockade following assurances from Abdul Matin, officer-in-charge of Siddhirganj Police Station.
Nazrul's wife Selina Islam alleged that Nur Hossain, councillor of ward-4, and Haji Mohammad Yasin, general secretary of Siddhirganj AL, had masterminded the abduction of her husband.
She filed a case against Nur, Yasin and four others on Monday.
Nur Hossain, also vice-president of Siddhirganj AL, refuted the allegation.
The five were kidnapped from Adalatpara area of Narayanganj city around 1:45pm on Sunday.
Meanwhile, members of Narayanganj District Bar Association boycotted the District Judge's Court yesterday, demanding the rescue of senior advocate Chandan Sarkar and his driver Ibrahim, abducted on Sunday.
They also submitted a memorandum to the Narayanganj deputy commissioner's office on the same demand.
In Mymensingh, police were yet to trace coaching centre tutors Kamal Hossain Sabuj, 35, and Abu Bakar Siddique Swapan, 28.
Mohammad Moniruzzaman, OC (investigation) of Bhaluka Police Station, said the police were conducting operations in and outside the district to trace the tutors.
In Chittagong, Rapid Action Battalion-7 rescued two persons and arrested five abductors, including two women, from a house at Panwala Para around 11:30am Monday.
The arrestees are Mohammad Harun, 30, Mohammad Arif, 22, Mohammad Mamun, 28, Sanjida, 18, and Bristi Akhter, 20.
Rab-7 Assistant Director Mafijul Islam said the five were involved in abduction of Osman Gani Badsha and Abul Hossain from Choumuhani Intersection of Agrabad around 6:30am that day.
TWO MISSING FOR WEEK
Police could not trace two other people kidnapped a week ago in Bhaluka upazila and Mymensingh town.
Elias Ali, an employee of Islami Bank in Mymensingh, was abducted on April 21 when he along with a colleague was returning home at Gulpukurpar after offering Esha prayers at a nearby mosque, said police.
An abduction case was lodged with Kotwali Police Station the following day.
Another victim, Yusuf Ali, a student at Mymensingh Homoeopathic Medical College, was abducted by a gang of seven to eight people from his residence in Bhaluka upazila early on April 20.
(Our correspondents in Noakhali, Narayanganj, Gazipur, Mymensingh and Chittagong contributed to this report)