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RAB finds Farhad Mazhar in Jessore

  • Published at 06:44 pm July 3rd, 2017
  • Last updated at 07:36 pm July 3rd, 2017
RAB finds Farhad Mazhar in Jessore
Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) found missing litterateur and columnist Farhad Mazhar in Abhaynagar upazila, Jessore late last night. The noted columnist had gone missing on Monday morning. A team of RAB 6 rescued him from a Dhaka-bound bus of Hanif Paribahan in the upazila’s Noapara area around 11:30pm, RAB Legal and Media Wing Director Mufti Mahmud Khan confirmed to the Dhaka Tribune. He further said Farhad was found in healthy condition. Abhaynagar police station OC Anisur Rahman told our Jessore correspondent at 12:55am that Farhad was in their custody, and they were waiting for further instruction from their superior officials. Earlier in the evening, RAB 6 launched a raid in a Khulna city neighbourhood after they traced Farhad’s mobile phone near the KDA Approach Street. The raid continued for hours and the team searched houses in KDA Approach Street as well as the nearby Ibrahim Street. Farhad’s wife Farida Akhter filed a general diary with Adabor police station in Dhaka on Monday evening, saying some unknown people had abducted her husband and asked for Tk35 lakh ransom. In the morning, a family friend of Farhad’s contacted Adabor police to notify that they had been unable to trace him since early on Monday morning, said Sub-Inspector Aleya Akhter. Quoting the family friend, the sub-inspector told the Dhaka Tribune that 25 minutes after leaving his house in Shyamoli area going for an early morning stroll around 5am, Farhad called his wife over mobile phone saying he was not feeling well. Around 9:30am, he called his wife again and said he had been abducted and the abductors had asked for Tk35 lakh ransom. His phone was switched off soon after the call. Biplob Kumar Sarkar, deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (Tejgaon Division), told the Dhaka Tribune that it was unusual for Farhad to take an early morning stroll. “After speaking with family members, we were able to confirm that he generally does not go out so early. We collected footage from the CCTVs around Farhad Mazhar’s house which showed he was not under duress at the time he got out of his house,” Biplob said. Quoting Farhad’s family members, Biplob further said the family received a number of calls regarding the ransom amount. The Dhaka Tribune attempted to contact Farida over phone. A man received the phone and told our reporter that the family would not be able to comment on the incident. Sixty-nine-year-old Farhad has close ties with the country’s main opposition BNP. BNP leaders have been claiming that tens of thousands of their activists and supporters have been arrested by the government since 2014, when the party boycotted a controversial general election over fears that it would be rigged. There have also been allegations of so-called enforced disappearances — where authorities detain people unofficially and hold them in secret prisons. Abduction for ransom is relatively rare in Bangladesh, and rights activists urged the government to properly investigate Farhad’s disappearance to prove that it was not involved. “Such incidents happen repeatedly and the government’s silence is deplorable,” said Nur Khan Liton, a prominent rights activist, when speaking to AFP.
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