‘Dead’ Hefajat man returns
Al Faruk, 15, had gone missing since the May 6 police crackdown on Hefajat-e-Islam in the capital last year. The missing list Hefajat circulated soon after, too, had his name.
His ghaibana janaza (funeral-in-absentia prayers) was held two days later; his kulkhwani followed accordingly. His family even observed his first death anniversary in May this year.
One and a half years later, he appeared out of the blue and called his parents from a majar (shrine) in Chittagong. "I'm alive and am residing in Chittagong," Faruk told his mother.
Stunned, his parents informed police who rescued him alive on Wednesday evening from a shrine in Chittagong.
Hefajat-e-Islam, after the crackdown, had claimed that law enforcers "killed" Faruk and “hid” his body along with “thousands of their activists”.
However, upon primary interrogation, Faruk told police that he had fled the Shapla Chattar that day soon after police launched an attack on Hefajat activists and then he had come to Chittagong to hide in different shrines, fearing arrest.
Solaiman Bin Mobarak, Faruk's father, had sent his son to a madrasa named Ummul Kwora Islamic Academy in the capital's Badda where he was a class-five student. He had joined the Hefajat rally from there, police sources said.
Sub-Inspector Santosh Kumar Chakma of detective branch (DB) of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP), who led the drive to rescue Faruk, told The Daily Star that Faruk's mother had come to the DB office on December 10.
“She told us that his son made her a phone call from Chittagong. Then she asked us to find him out,” said the SI, adding that he had advised her to submit a written complaint first.
After receiving the complaint, police started probing the matter.
“At one stage of the investigation, we came to know that Faruk was residing in Miskin Shah Majar of Gani Bakery area in the city,” Santosh said.
“Faruk thought police were searching for him. So he was absconding and did not even dare to contact his parents,” said the SI quoting Faruk.
Faruk was handed over to his maternal uncle yesterday.
Faruk's father, however, denied his son's involvement in Hefajat's May rally. "My son did not take part in the Hefajat rally," Solaiman claimed.
Earlier Solaiman had admitted to police of his son's involvement in the rally, SI Santosh said.
Contacted, Azizul Haque Islamabadi, organising secretary of Hefajat-e-Islam, said they thought Faruk was dead as they could not find his whereabouts since the crackdown.
“At first we thought he was missing. But as he did not return to his family, nor to his madrasa, we began to believe that he was no more,” said Islamabadi.