A Narayanganj businessman told the government investigation team probing seven murders that he had witnessed the April 27 abduction conducted by around seven RAB personnel and another in plainclothes.
“I saw a RAB pickup van and at least six or seven of its members on the spot,” said Md Shahidul Islam, who gave deposition at the rest house of Shiddhirganj Power Station on Saturday.
The probe body earlier held public hearings on May 12 and 15.
The witness said he had been passing the spot along with his HSC examinee daughter on a motorcycle.
“On that day, my daughter had an examination at Narayanganj Mohila College. She came out of the exam centre at 1:05pm. We took rest for at least 15 minutes there. Then we started for home on my motorcycle.
“It was around 1:45pm when I was passed the garbage dumping yard (situated on Dhaka-Narayanganj Link Road). I saw a RAB vehicle and few private cars parked on the road in queue. I thought the RAB men were searching the cars to capture hoodlums. From that interest, I slowed down my motorcycle and stopped.”
Shahidul said he had enquired a RAB man about the matter.
“The RAB personnel was rude with me to say ‘Ja beta ja, aage bar’ [leave this place, move ahead].”
This made him curious, Shahidul said: “If he did something usual, he would have answered me normally. Then I started to drive my motorcycle and stopped few metres ahead. Four to five RAB men in arms kept the vehicles cordoned while two others standing with another person who was wearing a white T-shirt and black pant.
“The person [in plainclothes] had a black pistol [smaller than those used by police personnel] in his hand. He was pulling out several men from one private car and pushing them into a white microbus [HIACE].
“The man was hitting those who did not want to enter the microbus with the pistol. Later it started for Signboard area. I saw the incident for two to three minutes.”
Shahidul told the probe body that he could not figure out the actual number of RAB men, but it could be six-seven. He also did not notice the nameplate of the RAB member he spoke to.
“I came to know about the incident through the media after the bodies of the seven abduction victims were recovered. I have become mentally disturbed since the incident, and was eager to share it with somebody who can take action,” the businessman said to justify why he gave deposition in the case.