The story just doesn’t add up.
Gulshan attack survivors Hasnat Karim and Tahmid Hasib Khan never returned home after the horrific events of July 1.
Their respective families claim to have no clue as to their whereabouts, but now, the authorities are claiming that Hasnat and Tahmid are not in custody, and that the two men were let go after their debriefing.
We need to know the facts. The police claim they are not currently detaining Hasnat and Tahmid, but if that is the case, then where are they? Reports indicate that the two were in custody earlier. Either those earlier reports were false, or it seems like the authorities are now changing their story.
We understand that this is an extraordinarily sensitive investigation, and if the police were to wish to continue to hold the two, we would not try to second guess them. If the police need to keep people in custody, that is their call. But all legalities must be maintained, all the more in a case like this.
It is important that the civil rights of the two are respected, that their families at least be informed of their whereabouts, and that it be demonstrated that nothing untoward has happened or is happening to them.
The opacity surrounding the disappearance of the two is alarming, and can only serve to lessen the public’s trust in the ongoing investigation, which is the last thing anyone wants right now.
Serious questions about custodial treatment have been raised by the death of Zakir Hossain Shaon, a Holey Artisan Bakery staff member who was detained by the police as a terror suspect, but died in custody on Friday amidst extremely troubling allegations from his family.
This is not to jump to any conclusions about Hasnat and Tahmid, but the simple way to refute such fears is to be open and fully transparent.
In the end, it is in the interests of the police to be seen to be operating in a fully transparent manner. Nothing would serve their credibility and the credibility of the ongoing investigation more. And at a time like this, public trust is crucial. It is absolutely imperative, for the cohesion of the entire nation, that the public retain full confidence in the law enforcement authorities.
Two people can’t just disappear. The truth needs to come out. The authorities need to be able to credibly account for the people they have taken in.
This is a time of crisis, and public trust in our law enforcement is at stake.