Published on 12:00 AM, April 18, 2018

Ilias Ali Disappearance: Six years on, no progress in probe

The family of BNP leader M Ilias Ali has expressed frustration as police are yet to find any clue about the whereabouts of Ilias, six years after he went missing. 

Disappointed with the probe, his wife Tahsina Rushdir on Monday told The Daily Star that law enforcers contacted her only in the first four to five months after her husband had gone missing. 

“After that,” she said, “no one from law enforcement agencies communicated with us or informed us about the progress.”

“We are investigating [the incident] to find out Ilias based on the general diary filed in this connection. But there is no specific progress as of now,” said BM Forman Ali, officer-in-charge of Banani Police Station where the GD was lodged on May 2012.

Talking to this correspondent on Monday, the police official also said they were working as per the High Court directives to know the whereabouts of Ilias.

He refused to elaborate how they were working, saying that it might hamper the investigation.

Ilias, the then organising secretary of the BNP, went missing along with his driver in the wee hours of April 18, 2012. His car was found abandoned in Banani with all its four doors flung open.

Victim's wife Rushdir said, “My husband was a former lawmaker. It is the government's responsibility to find him.”

“The government or the law enforcement agencies might have thought that we have forgotten him as years have passed. But the memory of Ilias Ali haunts me and my children every night,” said an emotional Rushdir over the mobile phone from a city hospital where she was undergoing treatment.

Pointing to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's assurance in 2012 that Ilias would be traced, Rushdir said she did not see any initiative on the part of the PM in this regard.

In an emotion-soaked voice, Rushdir said, “We still appeal to the prime minister to take initiative for finding Ilias Ali. We want him back.”

After Ilias went missing, Rushdir claimed several times that her husband was a victim of political enmity.

Quoting Ilias, Rushdir on several occasions told reporters that intelligence agencies had prepared a list of opposition leaders who were vocal against the government on some international issues. Ilias told her that he was on the list.

Talking to this newspaper last year, OC Forman said they had been submitting a report on the progress of finding Ilias to the HC every month since May 2012.

The police official that time also claimed the Banani police had conducted “search operations” in different parts of the country almost every month to get Ilias.

In May 2012, five law enforcement agencies, including police and Rab, had submitted reports to the HC as ordered by the court, claiming that Ilias was not in their custody since they had not picked him up or detained him.

Following a writ petition filed by Rushdir on April 19 that year, the HC issued a rule upon the law enforcement agencies to explain within 10 days why they should not be directed to produce Ilias before it or prove that he was not detained by them.


BNP leaders in Sylhet yesterday alleged that the government was behind the disappearance of Ilias as he led the movement against Tipaimukh Dam in India. 

Speaking at a human chain at Sylhet Central Shaheed Minar marking six years of his disappearance, BNP leaders lambasted the government for its failure to find Ilias, reports our Sylhet correspondent.