Jamalpur's Sharishabari municipality mayor, who went missing from the capital's Uttara last Monday, was found in a tea estate in Sreemangal yesterday.
Gourlal Vumij, a security guard of Kaliaghat union spotted Mayor Rokonuzzaman Rokon, 42, at the estate around noon.
Gourlal told The Daily Star that he found Rokon standing under a tree and as he approached, the mayor told him, “Please save me, if you do not save me, they will kill me.”
“The mayor was talking like an insane person and I took him to the union parishad [Kaliaghat] chairman's room,” he added.
Chairman Pranesh Goala said he informed police of the matter and they took Rokon away.
Quoting Rokon, Anowarul Haque, additional superintendent of Moulvibazar police, told The Daily Star that someone had left the mayor in the tea estate before speeding away in a black microbus.
The mayor then began yelling for help, he said quoting locals.
“Once he was identified, we contacted the headquarters of Dhaka Metropolitan Police and Jamalpur police about the rescue and handed him over to DMP's Uttara West Police Station as a general diary was filed there for a missing person,” Anowarul added.
He said they did not find any injury marks on the mayor's body or any sign that his hands and legs had been tied. Nonetheless, police provided him with primary treatment as he seemed weak, he added.
Rokon had been missing since Monday when he went out of his Uttara home for a walk.
Requesting anonymity, a top police official of Sylhet division, told The Daily Star that Rokon was contradicting himself when detectives asked questions about his alleged abduction.
“The mayor first told us that he was kidnapped from a park but he started changing his statement when we told him that it was not possible [for anyone] to kidnap him from the park in front of so many people,” said the official.
Rokon later told police that he was kidnapped from a narrow alley, the official said.
The official said they had evidence that Rokon borrowed a lot of money in Jamalpur.
Twelve hours before he went missing, Rokon on Facebook wrote, “My request to the new generation; keep your love for me intact; even if I am murdered, continue the development work.”
Rokon had gone to his rented Uttara-13 flat on Gousul Azam Road from Sharishabari on Sunday night. Around 9.00am the next day, he went out for a walk in the park, but did not return, said his wife Kamrunnahar Happy.
In the afternoon, Rokon's brother Tukon filed the GD.
Happy said she has no idea who had kidnapped her husband.
Rokon's elder brother Saiful Islam said a local contractor recently threatened the mayor and a GD was also filed in this regard.
Rokon, who used to live in Italy, was an active BNP activist. He joined the Awami League in 2014 and was elected Sharishabari municipality mayor.
In just over a month, businessman Aniruddha Kumar Roy, Mcgill University student Ishrak Ahmed Fahim, Bangladesh Kalyan Party Secretary General MM Aminur Rahman and Syed Sadat Ahmed, managing director of ABN Group and a BNP leader, went missing.
Abducted IFIC Bank official Shamim Ahmed was left near Motijheel on August 28, four days after he was kidnapped.
[Our Jamalpur and Moulvibazar correspondents contributed to this report.]