Families have all along alleged that their loved ones were picked up by law enforcers, who denied the claim. Now, weeks after nine Pabna men had gone missing, Rab yesterday said they arrested four of them on Friday night from the capital in a murder case.
They are Ramjan Ali, 38, Suruj Ali, 22, Dulal Hossain, 24, and Liton Islam, 20.
There is no news of the rest five yet.
Of the four arrested, Ramjan had gone missing from Rangunia of Chittagong on May 22 and the last three on April 21 from Hazaribagh and Kamrangirchar of Dhaka, families said.
All the four are activists of the ruling Awami League, said upazila AL president Khalilur Rahman.
In a press release yesterday, Rab claimed that the four were picked up from the capital's Paltan area on Friday night.
Habibur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Faridpur Police Station, said Ramjan, Suruj and Dulal were named in the case over the murder of Saiful Islam, general secretary of the upazila unit of Jubo Dal, a pro-BNP youth organisation. Liton is a suspect in the case.
Saiful was hacked to death by unknown assailants in the upazila's Savar village on February 3. A murder case was filed with local police station the following day, accusing 14 people. Later, the case was shifted to the Criminal Investigation Department, said the OC.
Ashraful Islam, younger brother of arrested Ramjan, said his brother went into hiding following the incident. “We came to know that he [Ramjan] was picked up from Rangunia of Chittagong on May 22.”
Apart from the four arrestees, five others, including three brothers, were picked up from Khagarbaria and Savar villages in the upazila on May 11, their families claimed.
They are: siblings Tikkah Sardar, 35, Ershad Miah, 30, and Saddam Hossain, 25, and Rony Pramanik of Khagarbaria village and Dulal Pramanik of Savar village. Rony and Dulal are aged between 25 and 35.
Family members of the missing held a press conference at Pabna Press Club on May 25. They claimed that law enforcers picked up their loved ones. The families also demanded their safe return home.
Talking to this correspondent yesterday, Abdul Karim, the father of the three siblings, claimed that a group of armed people, introducing as Rab men, picked up his sons from his house. Some 10 to 12 men also accompanied the armed people, he added.
Karim said that when they went to Pabna Rab camp the following day, Rab officials denied picking up his sons.
Rab in the press release claimed that the four went into hiding after the murder.
On information that the four of the accused were staying in Paltan area, a team of CPC-1 [Crime Prevention Company] of Rab-3 detained them, says the press note issued from the elite force's Legal and Media wing.
The statement further says the accused planned to kill Saiful as his family had disputes with Delwar Hossain, another accused in the case, and his cohorts over taking control of a local mosque and its property.