Police have not yet found any clue as to whether Farhad Mazhar was abducted on the morning of July 3 from near his Adabar residence in the capital, Inspector General of Police AKM Shahidul Hoque yesterday said.
“From what [information] we have gathered so far, we think it was not an incident of abduction. But we need more evidence to reach a conclusion," he said, responding to reporters' queries following a seminar on how to combat drug abuse.
“Such a statement before the investigation is complete is unfortunate,” said one of Farhad Mazhar's family members upon hearing about the police chief's remarks.
The IGP also said law enforcers were investigating the incident and that police would be able to give their final statement regarding the matter within a couple of days.
However, Farhad's family expressed frustration and said that when the investigation was on, the IGP's statement might influence its outcome.
Law enforcement agencies found Farhad on a Dhaka bound bus of Hanif Paribahan at Noapara in Jessore around 11:30am on Monday, more than 18 hours after he had gone missing.
The next day while submitting his judicial statement, the writer and poet said several unidentified men had forced him into a microbus and blindfolded him minutes after he came out of his Adabor residence that day to buy medicines.
On Wednesday, leaders of Hefajat-e Islam thanked the prime minister for the rescue of Farhad.
Hefajat Nayeb-e-Ameer Mohibullah Babunagari and joint secretaries general Lokman Hakim, Mufti Faizullah and Moinuddin Ruhee in a joint statement said, “It is evidently praiseworthy that the PM has taken measures to rescue a citizen like Farhad Mazhar. The prompt action reflects the expectation of the people.”
Farhad's wife Farida Akhter filed a case with Adabor Police Station in connection with the incident.
Investigators said the kidnapping case still remained a mystery encircled by confusions and questions.
They need to talk to Farhad to solve the puzzles but he is in hospital, said Golam Mostofa Rashel, additional deputy commissioner of the Detective Branch of police.
Investigators are now trying to collect CCTV footage to trace the microbus. They say no cameras cover the place of occurrence mentioned by Farhad.
The writer has been receiving treatment at Birdem Hospital since Tuesday. A medical board of doctors checked his health yesterday.
His wife Farida held a press conference at their house an hour and a half before he was found in Jessore. She said she had received several calls from Farhad asking her to manage Tk 30-35 lakh as ransom. The last call was made at around 7:30pm.
Nazmus Sadat Shadi , a manager of Hanif Paribahan in Khulna, gave a contradicting statement before a magistrate.
He said Farhad had bought a ticket himself from the bus operator's Khulna counter around 4:00pm that day and he was alone at the time.