Three Garo men, who were picked up from Sherpur and Mymensingh more than two weeks ago, are still missing.
Their family members, concerned about their safety, are passing extremely hard days. They alleged that the three men were abducted by the Rapid Action Battalion -- an allegation rejected by the elite force.
The victims, Provat Marak, 60, and Bibhas Sangma, 25, son of Sukhindra Marak of Gajni village in Sherpur's Jhenaigati upazila, and Rajesh Marak, 22, son of Sumit Sangma of the same village, are relatives.
Provat and Bibhas were picked up from Jhenaigati and Rajesh from Mymensingh's Bhaluka upazila on the same day on April 14, said their families.
Bibhas is a second-year student at Teen Ani Adarsha Degree College in Jhenaigati while Provat is a labourer. Rajesh, who stays in his sister's house in Bhaluka town, studies at a private university in the capital.
Bibhas' mother, 60-year-old Birla Sangma, filed a general diary with Jhenaigati Police Station on April 16, two days after her son was “abducted”.
This correspondent recently visited the family members of the three Garo men in Gajni village, around 50 kilometres off the district town.
The family members and locals said a group of 10 to 12 people, some of them in black uniform, identified themselves as law enforcement agency members and picked up Bibhas and Provat from their houses.
They alleged that Bibhas was interrogated and tortured before being taken away.
Bibhas' mother has become more feeble after the incident. She said the abductors told her not to worry and that they would release her son soon.
Bibhas' cousin Swapna Hajidok, 28, claimed that many of the abductors were wearing Rab uniforms. She said they were clueless about reason behind the incident.
Provat's daughter Promita Sangma said all her family members but Provat were in Dhaka on the day of the abduction. She said her mother has also fallen sick.
Talking to The Daily Star, Shikha Marak, sister of Rajesh, the third victim, said those who picked up her brother also had introduced themselves as Rab members.
She said they filed a GD with Bhaluka Police Station on April 17.
Suchitra Sangma, a nun at Gajni Baptist Church, said they were passing their days in fear following the “abduction” of the three Garo men.
She said, “We want our children back. We call upon the government to provide us with security.”
Major Naeem Abdullah, commander of the Rab-14 (Sherpur-Jamalpur), said, “We are not aware of anybody being picked up in that village. We have not detained anyone.”
He said the elite force was investigating the incident.
Mizanur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Jhenaigati Police Station, said a GD was lodged after the incident and a probe was underway.
Contacted, Nayek Subedar Yakub Ali, company commander of BGB Jhenaigati Naksi border outpost, said he knew nothing about the incident.