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Chittagong journo Sarwar after rescue: 'I will not write news anymore'

  • Published at 09:22 pm November 1st, 2020
M Sekander Hossain
M Sekander Hossain Collected

The 36-year-old had been missing since Thursday

After remaining missing for nearly four days, Chittagong-based journalist Golam Sarwar was found lying next to a canal near the Kumira Bazar in the southeastern district’s Sitakunda. 

The staff reporter at the weekly Ajker Surjodoy was rescued and taken to the Chittagong Medical College Hospital on Sunday after the police was reported of the incident.

He was found unconscious and initially taken to a shop at the Kumira Bazar by the locals.

A video emerged on social media of the terrified 36-year-old showed him repeatedly saying "Please let me go. I won't write news anymore! I will quit journalism" after regaining consciousness. 

Sarwar went missing since he left his Battery Lane residence in the port city late on Wednesday. His family said they could not trace him since then and his phone was also found switched off.

The weekly’s Assistant Editor Jubayer Siddiqui filed a general diary with the Kotwali police the same day. "Sarwar is lapsing in and out of consciousness. His words are slurred and he was saying that he had been tortured. He also said he was injected with something," Siddiqui said on Sunday after visiting Sarwar at the hospital.

Sarwar’s wife Jesmine Akhter also said her husband had said that he was tortured after abduction. 

Sarwar was also the publisher and executive editor of the port city-based online news outlet ‘ctnews24.bd’, which ran a report on October 24 over the alleged involvement of minister’s family member in land grabbing, says a report by The Daily Star.

Quoting family members, the national daily said that since Sarwar’s disappearance, they had been contacted at least five times by his abductor, through the journalist's cell phone.

“Each time, the abductor instructed the family to be prepared to pay the ransom, before switching off the phone,” reads the Daily Start report published early on Monday. It added that Sarwar’s family believed he was targeted for his work.

His colleague, Jubayer Siddiqui, however, claimed that Sarwar had a long-standing land dispute with his step-brothers and that money lenders often threatened him over unpaid loans. 

Dhaka Tribune's Staff Reporter Anwer Hossain contributed to this report