Fisherman allegedly held by Rab still untraced
Wife of a fisherman of Nijlathimara village under Pathorghata upazila in Barguna district yesterday alleged that her husband has remained traceless after plain-clothes men nabbed him from Chardoany Bazar in Pathorghata upazila 20/21 days ago.
Meanwhile, body of another fisherman, allegedly arrested the same time, was handed over to Pathorghata police station on Friday morning, saying that he was killed in a gunfight between joint forces and pirates.
"My husband Habibur Rahman along with another fisherman Afzal went to Chardoany Bazar by a hired motorcycle to search for his stolen net 20/21 days ago when six or seven plain-clothes men, introducing themselves as Rab members, took them. Khokon, driver of the motorcycle, told me the incident," Habibur's wife Beauty Begum told journalists at Pathorghata Press Club yesterday noon.
"Afzal's body was handed over to Pathorghata police station on Friday morning, claiming that he died in a gunfight with forces of coastguard, Rab and police. But Habib has remained traceless still now.
"My husband is a very simple man. We don't know why Rab arrested him. We don't know whether he is alive. He is the only earning member of our family and we live hand to mouth.
"If my husband is found guilty Rab should have sent him to the court and arrange trial," Beauty said.
Beauty, who was holding her one and a half year-old son Sumon on the lap, accompanying her mother Roksana, became senseless more than once as she told the matter and requested local journalists to help bring back her husband.
Meanwhile, Afzal's wife Bhulu Begum, who received her husband's body at Barguna morgue on Friday evening, alleged to local journalists that Rab men, who arrested Afzal along with Habib, killed him.
Sagir Alam, a member of Pathorghata union Parishad, said, "Afzal and Habib are poor fishermen and they are known to all as good people. We did not know anything about their involvement or link with pirates' gang."
When contacted, Major Kazi Shamsher Uddin, deputy director for Rab-8 and commanding officer of Patuakhali Rab camp said, "The allegations are not true. We did not arrest anybody early. Afzal was an active member of pirates' gang 'Zulfiqar Bahini' and he was involved with looting trawlers and kidnapping fishermen."