He was picked up 3 months ago | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 21, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:19 AM, August 21, 2015

He was picked up 3 months ago

Says sister of Touhidur, a Bangladesh-born UK citizen whom Rab claimed to have detained Tuesday; family filed GD, abduction case, lodged complaint with NHRC

Sister of Touhidur Rahman -- a Bangladesh-born UK citizen who, according to Rab's claim, was detained on Tuesday in connection with writer Avijit Roy's killing -- yesterday alleged he was actually picked up around three months ago.

Nasera Begum, a physician at a private hospital in the capital, said four plainclothes men identifying themselves as detectives picked up Touhidur, 58, from her flat on Road 9/A in Dhanmondi around 1:45pm on May 28.

"Three of them entered our flat on the first floor and another stayed outside. None of them were carrying any firearm," Nasera said, quoting her flat's caretaker.

She was at work and her mother, Touhid and the caretaker were at home at the time, she told The Daily Star over the phone.

Nasera filed a general diary with Dhanmondi Police Station that very day and an abduction case against four unnamed persons on June 3 with the same police station, she said.

National Human Rights Commission Chairman Mizanur Rahman backed her claim, saying that he had received the complaint over a month ago.

"I cannot tell you the filing date of the complaint without going through the papers. But it is true that a woman, who is a physician, over a month ago complained about her brother's abduction by law enforcers," Mizanur told The Daily Star over the phone yesterday evening.

Based on the complaint, he had even talked to the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and other law enforcement agencies but none had confirmed the claim, the NHRC boss added.

Officer-in-Charge Noor-a-Azam of Dhanmondi Police Station confirmed the filing of the GD and the abduction case, as claimed by Nasera.

The case was handed over to the Detective Branch (DB) of police about two weeks later as "we did not find any significant evidence in support of her complaint during our investigation," he added.

The Rab paraded Touhid and two others -- Sadeque Ali Mithu and Aminul Mallick -- before the media at a press briefing at its headquarters in the capital's Uttara on Wednesday.

They claimed to have picked up Touhid and Aminul at an alley near Star Kabab restaurant in Dhanmondi around 12:20am on Tuesday, and Sadeque a couple of hours earlier from Nilkhet.

The trio were members of outlawed militant outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team, and were involved in the killings of Avijit and blogger Ananta Bijoy Das, Rab officials said.

Asked about Nasera's allegation, Deputy Director Maj Rumman Mahmud of the Rab's Media Wing said they had detained Touhid and two others on Monday and Tuesday.

"Some other agency might have picked him [Touhid] up earlier, which we are unaware of," he said.

According to the Rab, Touhid went to the UK in the early 1990s and came back to Bangladesh in 2012.

They claimed Touhid was a financier of the ABT and planned the killings of Avijit and Ananta on instructions from Abul Bashar, younger brother of Ansarullah chief Jasimuddin Rahmani. Bashar took the helm of the ABT after Rahmani's arrest in 2013.

Touhid and the other two militant suspects were later handed over to the DB, which is investigating Avijit's murder.

A Dhaka court on Wednesday put the three on seven days' remand each in connection with the killing.

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