Detectives quiz Farhad Mazhar
12:00 AM, July 19, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:19 AM, July 19, 2017

'It was not abduction'

Detectives show 'evidence' as they quiz Farhad Mazhar, Farida

Detectives yesterday interrogated poet and columnist Farhad Mazhar in their custody and presented their evidence nullifying his claim that he was abducted on July 3.

The writer, on the other hand, told the officials that he had given his version in his judicial statement before a magistrate.

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He requested detectives to investigate further, if needed, officials said. 

Farhad and his wife Farida Akhter arrived at the DB office on Minto Road around 11:00am in response to a letter from investigators on Monday.

The couple were interrogated for around an hour before leaving the office on their car around 1:15pm.

Golam Mostofa Rashel, additional deputy commissioner of Detective Branch, said they called the couple -- the victim and plaintiff of the case -- for the sake of investigation.

“We talked to them to scrutinise the contradictions between his version and our findings,” he said. 

An official who was present during the interrogation told The Daily Star “Presenting our evidence, which included CCTV footage, we told him that you are lying. He neither ignored nor accepted it. He just told police to look into it further.”

Farhad referred to his judicial statement in response to most of the questions asked by the officials, he said.

Talking to this correspondent about the interrogation, Farida said, “They [police] are trying to prove that it was not a case of abduction and they were trying to hear it from the victim.

“Police told us that they would file a case if we do not acknowledge it.

“In response, we told police that Farhad Mazhar gave his version in judicial statement before a magistrate.”

She said they told detectives to find out through investigation if anything other than abduction had taken place.

Farida, however, declined to say what Farhad Mazhar said after seeing the CCTV footage captured in Khulna where it was seen the writer was moving aimlessly between 4:41pm and 6:44pm on July 3.

Around 11:30pm that day, law enforcers found him on a Dhaka-bound bus of Hanif Paribahan at Noapara in Jessore, more than 18 hours after he had reportedly gone missing. He later told police that the abductors released him around 7:30pm.

His wife Farida filed an abduction case with Adabor Police Station.

On July 4, while submitting his judicial statement, the writer said several unidentified men had forced him into a microbus and blindfolded him soon after he came out of his Adabor residence that day to buy medicine.

Minutes before the interrogation started yesterday, DB Joint Commissioner Abdul Baten during a press briefing at the DMP Media Centre said, “Farhad Mazhar was not abducted and there is no abductor in this incident.”

Replying to a query, Baten also said Farhad Mazhar's wife filed the case based on the writer's phone call. If anybody misleads police with providing false information and files false case, it is a punishable offence under section 211 of Penal Code.

“We will check whether any action can be taken in this regard,” the official added.

Hours after Farhad reportedly went missing, his wife at a press conference claimed she received a phone call from his number at 5:29am.

Farida claimed her husband during the call said, "They were picking him up. They will kill him.” She also said Farhad asked her to arrange Tk 30 to 35 lakh to be paid as ransom.

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