It would have been an unforgettable, joyous day for BGB Nayek Abdur Razzak.
He became the father of a boy yesterday. But he couldn't relish the joy as he was languishing in captivity far from home. Myanmar didn't release him even four days after its Border Guard Police (BGP) abducted him from the Naf river in Cox's Bazar.
Dhaka is highly disappointed at Nay Pyi Taw's attitude, and considers the incident "unfriendly
towards a neighbouring country and a clear departure from diplomatic norms," a Bangladesh foreign ministry official told The Daily Star yesterday.
On June 17, plainclothes BGP men in a trawler approached a seven-member BGB patrol team of Domdomia Border Outpost, which was on duty in two boats in the Naf river.
The BGP men scuffled with the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) personnel, opened fire on them and abducted Razzak.
Instead of handing over the BGB man to Bangladesh authorities, Myanmar authorities circulated photographs of Razzak in handcuffs on the social media.
One of the photographs showed him wearing a BGB shirt and a lungi. In another picture, blood clots were seen on his nose.
The circulation of the photographs caused an uproar in Bangladesh.
The photographs indicate that the BGP had bad intentions, said the foreign ministry official, seeking anonymity.
BABY ON FATHER'S DAY
Back at Razzak's home in Natore's Baliabari village, his wife Asma Begum gave birth to the third child of the couple around 11:00am yesterday, the Father's Day.
Asma said her husband used to call her every day and inquire about her health and the unborn child. But sadly he couldn't be home when she gave birth to the baby boy.
Razzak's father Tofazzel Hossain said, "It is great news. But unfortunately my son is not here on this happy occasion. We are waiting for his return."
Asma urged the government to take immediate steps to bring back her husband.
According to sources at Bangladesh's foreign and home ministries, the government is surprised at the Myanmar authorities' unusual delay in sending back Razzak.
Dhaka is showing a high degree of tolerance with intent to maintain friendly relations with its neighbour.
It is making diplomatic efforts to bring back the BGB man, but the Myanmar government was yet to say clearly when he would be sent back, they said.
However, State Minister for Home Affairs Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told reporters yesterday that Razzak might be released any time.
The Myanmar authorities and the BGP have conveyed to the BGB that they would return Razzak any day, he said.
Seeking anonymity, a government high-up in Dhaka said, "The Myanmar authorities' attitude is simply unacceptable, and not that of a good and friendly neighbour.”
“We must put more pressure on Myanmar if the BGB member is not released soon,” said the high official.
On Thursday, Bangladesh foreign ministry summoned the Myanmar ambassador in Dhaka, and called for immediate return of the BGB man.
Bangladesh ambassador to Myanmar Sufiur Rahman met high-ups twice in Nay Pyi Taw, and handed them a protest note. On Saturday, Sufiur met Myanmar's new foreign secretary and conveyed Bangladesh's request for sending Razzak back soon.
The Myanmar secretary said Nay Pyi Taw was considering bringing trespass charges against the BGB man.
Bangladesh foreign ministry sources said if Myanmar does so, Razzak's return would be delayed.
ALLEGATIONS AGAINST BGP
BGB's tough stance against smuggling of Yaba from Myanmar might be a reason behind the BGP's delay in returning Razzak, said locals and BGB sources.
According to them, there are at least 37 Yaba factories on the Myanmar border, and BGP personnel not only know about those, but also facilitate illegal smuggling of Yaba to Bangladesh. And a section of BGP men have close ties with smuggling syndicates.
In the last one year, the BGB seized more than 12 lakh pieces of Yaba from the scene of the June 17 incident. Yaba is smuggled through that point of the Naf river, and small boats are used for smuggling Yaba to Bangladesh, said BGB sources.
BGB's action against Yaba smuggling might have infuriated BGP personnel, as many of them are involved in the illegal trade. This is why they are delaying Razzak's release, said locals and BGB sources.