Last known location of 'disappearance' victim's phone near Rab-1 office: Family
The family of a pisciculturist, who allegedly became a victim of enforced disappearance, has claimed that the last known location of his iPhone, found using an application, was adjacent to the Rab-1 office in the capital's Uttara.
Imam Mahadi Hasan Dollar was picked up on November 6 last year from Mymensingh, by men in plainclothes, his wife Mumta Hena Pinky said at a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club yesterday.
"Dollar's motorcycle was parked on the main road. The area is called Bottola-Chhankanda. He was walking back to the bike from his fishery. This was when he was picked up," said Pinky.
Locals in the area, who witnessed the incident, described to the family members what happened: four to five men hauled Dollar into a microbus and left. There were also two motorbikes. All of them were in plainclothes. The time was around 5:10:pm.
"One of the witnesses who knew our family, informed it to my father-in-law. They said the microbus had been parked at that spot all day long," said Pinky.
"Two days after the incident, we filed a general diary over the matter," said Pinky. "We did not file a case, because when we went to the Fulbaria Police Station, and the Mymensingh CID office, they told us that it was useless to file a case. I asked for advice and they recommended filing a general diary."
She added that she had also gone to the Mymensingh Detective Branch office, looking for her husband, a week after his disappearance.
An officer there told her, "I understand what happened to your husband. Go home and pray to Allah. Maybe you will get a phone call, telling you where he is, or that he will come home on his own."
Pinky said, "I asked him to register a complaint and investigate. He said it was not possible."
Dollar's younger brother Rezvi said they tried to locate Dollar's cell phone using an application available on all iPhones.
The app that helps recover lost or stolen devices located the phone inside the Rab-1 compound, claimed Rezvi.
He showed a screenshot showing the location taken on December 12, 2021. In another screenshot, the phone was located on Shayesta Khan Avenue, the road right adjacent to the compound.
"It was December 12 when his phone could be located for the last time. I haven't found it since then," said Rezvi, claiming the app has been turned off on his brother's iPhone.
The feature works even if the phone is turned off, he explained.
The family has contacted the National Human Rights Commission, which sent a letter to the home ministry requesting an explanation regarding Dollar's alleged disappearance. They are still waiting for a response.
"A month back, officers from Rab-14 came and took his passport, saying they were filing a report on missing people. They asked my father-in-law to submit a statement stating he is missing, and he did it," said Pinky.
"A day later, they came back with a statement written in English. When we asked why it was in English, they said it is because everyone can understand. Why would anyone in Bangladesh need our statement in English?"
Pinky and her family refused to sign the document, because they did not understand what was written in it, she said.
The Daily Star could not reach Rab-1 for comment.
Dollar had previously spent 26 days in prison in 2020, after being accused in a case. "The case was politically motivated. My father-in-law is a union level Awami League leader. There was a brawl going on concerning who would head the local mosque committee, which he currently leads."
Both Dollar and the imam of the mosque was arrested by Rab.
"I want my husband back before Eid. Please let him celebrate Eid with his children," pleaded Pinky, as her four-year-old son Jalsan and one-and-half-year-old son Afrahim gambolled around the room, playing with balloons, oblivious to the danger that their father might be in.