Four remain missing for over a month
Shrouded in her son's memory, Nasrin Akhter is now bed-ridden and anxiously passing her time.
The mother can now only hope that her son, Ishrak Ahmed Fahim, a student of Mcgill University in Canada, who went missing from the capital's Dhanmondi on August 26, will return soon.
Ishrak's father, Jamal Uddin Ahmed, has asked for help from everyone – the police, Rab and DB - to find his son. Yet, Ishrak remains traceless.
Like Ishrak, five other people have been abducted or gone missing since August 22. Of them, only two have returned. The remaining four are still without a trace.
The list of missing individuals includes businessman Aniruddha Kumar Roy, Mcgill University student Ishrak Ahmed Fahim, Bangladesh Kallyan Party Secretary General MM Aminur Rahman and Syed Sadat Ahmed, managing director of ABN Group, also a BNP leader.
Of those who have resurfaced, IFIC Bank official Shamim Ahmed was left near Motijheel on August 28, four days after he was kidnapped while Rokonuzzaman Rokon, mayor of Sharishabari municipality in Jamalpur, who went missing on Monday, was found yesterday at a tea garden in Kalighat area in Sreemangal of Moulvibazar.
Ishrak went missing on his way to his Dhanmondi residence from the nearby Star Kebab Restaurant around 8:30pm on August 26, after having food with his friend.
On a CCTV camera installed at Amin Mohammad Group's head office, Ishrak was seen walking towards the road leading to his residence.
At one point, Ishrak turned around and started to walk back. Then he was not seen anymore, Ishrak's father Jamal Uddin Ahmed told The Daily Star.
Ishrak came to Bangladesh more than two months ago and was preparing to return to Canada after Eid on September 3.
Jamal filed a GD with Dhanmondi Police Station on August 27.
Dhanmondi Police OC Abdul Latif said they are now investigating the matter. “Till now, we did not get any footage of the victim being taken away forcibly,” he added.
Jamal said a law enforcement official came to their house and took Ishrak's laptop. They kept it for 15 days and later gave it back, saying it was “clean”.
Jamal, who had been living in Dhanmondi since 2005, said his son is innocent and had no enmity with anyone. He urged the law enforcement officials to rescue his son.
“It is their duty to find my son," he added.
In a similar incident, businessman Aniruddha was abducted on August 27 in broad daylight from the city's most secured area, Gulshan, where around 883 CCTV cameras are installed on various streets with checkpoints on almost every entry point.
As soon as Aniruddha, managing director of RMM Group, came out of a bank at around 4:20pm, three unindentified persons, who were in a microbus, forced Aniruddha into the vehicle and sped away towards Gulshan-1.
The kidnapping was caught on a CCTV camera of the bank.
A month into the incident, the law enforcement agencies are yet to trace him or say who kidnapped him.
“We are investigating the incident,” Abu Bakar Siddique, officer-in-charge of Gulshan Police Station, said.
The security of Gulshan and its diplomatic areas were beefed up after the Holey Artisan café attack on July 1 last year. All the roads in Gulshan came under CCTV surveillance while checkpoints were placed on every entry point.
Within this secured haven, Aniruddha's abduction has left his family in horror.
Kollol Hazra, a nephew of Aniruddha, said they tried everything to find Aniruddha, but did not get any break yet.
Meanwhile, another relative, requesting anonymity, alleged that the CCTV footage he had collected from the bank was seized by people from a law enforcement agency, saying it was not legal for him to have such footage.
When he wanted to see other footages of the roadside, the law enforcement officials did not cooperate, the relative alleged. When queried, the officials said that handing over such evidence may lead to compromising the investigation.
On August 22, another businessman, Syed Sadat Ahmed, also a Bangladesh Nationalist Party leader, was picked up in a similar fashion from near Banani flyover at around 3:00pm. The whereabouts of Sadat, managing director of ABN Group, are still unknown.
On August 27, Bangladesh Kallyan Party Secretary General MM Aminur Rahman went traceless after coming out of the party-office in Naya Paltan around 10:00pm. Police are yet to find any clue to his possible abduction.
Maj Gen (rtd) Syed Muhammad Ibrahim, the party chairman, told The Daily Star that Aminur's abduction was “to thwart the progress of the party”.
Ibrahim thinks this was done to bring indirect or psychological pressure on the chairman or Kallyan Party itself to become silent or less active in the politics of the 20-party alliance.
According to rights body Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), as many as 540 people have allegedly fallen victim to forced disappearances between 2007 and July 2017 in Bangladesh and an astonishing 347 of them were still missing.