His plea for security went unheeded
Fearing for his life, Niladri Chattopadhyay approached police to file a general diary but the law enforcers refused to record it, the wife and a friend of the slain blogger told The Daily Star yesterday.
Niladri's wife Asha Moni said her husband went to capital's Khilgaon and Shahjahanpur police stations on May 14 and 15 after he was followed by two unknown persons while returning to his Purbo Goran house from a programme at Shahbagh.
But police officers at both stations declined to record a general diary. “My husband would be alive if police had recorded the general diary and given him security,” she said.
Niladri's friend Devjyoti Rudro, who accompanied the blogger to the police stations, also made similar allegations. He also provided The Daily Star with a copy of the draft of the GD that Niladri wanted to file on May 14.
In a Facebook post on May 15, Niladri mentioned about the police's refusal to accept his application. He also talked about it in an interview with the UK-based newspaper Guardian the same month.
However, the officers-in-charge of both police stations refuted the allegations.
Mostafiz Bhuiyan, OC of Khilgaon Police Station, told The Daily Star that no blogger had contacted him for filing a GD with the police station.
Expressing surprise at the allegation of refusal to record the complaint, OC Mehedi Hasan of Shahjahanpur Police Station, said, “I don't know anything about the matter.”
Meanwhile, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told BBC Bangla Service that the slain blogger didn't go to police to file a GD.
“As far as I know, he [Niladri] didn't tell anyone about his insecurity. He also didn't inform the police,” said the minister.
Rudro told The Daily Star that Niladri had received threats over his cell phone around three months ago and on Facebook several times.
He gave an account of how Niladri was followed by two unknown men on May 13 evening.
Around 7:00pm, Niladri boarded a bus to go to Gulistan after attending a programme at Shahbagh to protest the murder of blogger Ananta Bijoy Das. He sensed that two men, who were also aboard the bus, were following him.
He got off at Gulistan and took a human-haulier. He then spotted one of the two men inside the vehicle.
He got down from it midway and entered an alley looking for a place to hide. As he found that the two were still following him, he hid inside a mosque in Shahjahanpur Amtoli area.
Later, he phoned one of his friends and asked him to come to the mosque. He then returned home with his friend.
The following day, Niladri along with Rudro went to Khilgaon Police Station to file a general diary but found that the OC was not there. Rudro called the OC over mobile phone and gave him details of the incident. The OC told him to talk to the duty officer.
When they requested the duty officer to record the GD, he asked them to go to Shahjahanpur Police Station, saying the place of the incident was in Shahjahanpur.
On May 15, they went to Shahjahanpur Police Station. The duty officer there declined to file the GD. He asked them to go back to Khilgaon Police Station, saying Niladri's house was in Khilgaon.
Frustrated, they left the police station. Later, Niladri talked to several police officials of his acquaintance, and one of them asked him to leave the country, said Rudro.
He, however, couldn't name any of the police officers whom Niladri had contacted.
Talking to The Daily Star, Asha Moni said her husband had been in a state of panic after the incident and tried to go abroad. He even convinced his boss to transfer him to the Chapainawabganj office of Research and Development Collective.
But he returned to the capital after two weeks, as he couldn't adjust to the weather there, she said. “He was in fear all the time.”
In an interview with Guardian in May, Niladri said he was scared that “he would be killed and that he had tried to file reports with local police about continued harassment”. He claimed his complaints were not taken seriously.