How Alam was 'abducted'

Driver's account

Chowdhury Alam

Six to seven people on two vehicles stopped the car carrying DCC councillor and BNP leader Chowdhury Alam on Indira Road and took him away in the car leaving the driver behind on June 25.
The car was found abandoned in West Tejturibazar, around one kilometre off the scene, after around 11 hours but the Dhaka City Corporation councillor still remains missing.
The Daily Star in its investigation found Alam was picked up when he was travelling on his sister's car and driver Asim Bhowmik is the only witness of the incident.
Asim said from the attitude and physical structure of the men he had assumed Alam was picked up by plainclothes policemen.
Alam's family and BNP leaders claim plainclothes law enforcers picked up Alam which is being rejected by Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) and Detective Branch (DB).
Police and Rab say they have yet to trace the BNP leader or recover his cellphone.
"As soon as we entered Indira Road around 8:45pm, a yellow taxicab intentionally knocked and obstructed our car. I got out of the car and within a few seconds a white microbus appeared on the scene and three to four people got into our car," driver Asim told The Daily Star.
"They identified themselves as lawmen and slapped me indiscriminately. They took Chowdhury Alam in the private car leaving me on the road", said Asim.
He added, "The car was owned by Chowdhury Alam's sister Mamtaj Begum and I am her personal driver."
The next morning he was informed by Alam's driver Jasim that the car was found abandoned in West Tejturibazar, opposite to Wasa building in Karwan Bazar.
Asim said they were on way to Dhanmondi from Khilgaon. As they reached Khamarbari, he chose Indira Road seeing severe congestion on Manik Miah Avenue, he added.
Sources say Alam was using his sister's car to avoid arrest and he asked the driver to take Indira Road when he sensed that he was being followed.
Alam's son Abu Sayeed Chowdhury claimed his father was being followed by law enforcers as they had made several attempts to pick him up before June 25.
"We filed a case with Sher-e-Bangla Police Station on June 26 in connection with abduction of my father and a general diary with Tejgaon Police Station regarding recovery of the car," he said.
In the case Alam's family mentioned that unidentified people abducted him from Indira Road.
"We suspect law enforcers have picked up my father. But we filed the case accusing unknown people as police refused to record our statement," said Sayeed.
Officer-in-Charge of Sher-e-Banglanagar police Reaz Hossain denied the allegation and said they recorded the case according to the family statement.
Sayeed also filed a writ with the High Court on July 4 claiming that law enforcers had picked up his father and seeking an order to haul him before the court immediately.
But on July 7, the petition's bench refused to issue a rule on the government for an explanation in this regard.
Meanwhile, DCC authorities officially requested the home ministry to find out its Ward-56 councillor immediately.
"As the city mayor, I have sought interference of the home ministry," Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka, also a vice-chairman of BNP, yesterday told The Daily Star.
Earlier on June 29, the DCC mayor at a press conference claimed that plainclothes Rab men arrested Alam, also president of BNP Ramna unit.
Talking to The Daily Star, DMP Commissioner AKM Shahidul Hoque, Rab's legal and media wing chief Commander M Sohail, DB Deputy Commissioner (North) Mahbubor Rahman said they are trying separately and jointly to trace Alam.


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