With more and more parents continuing to file police reports saying that their children have been missing for months, the number of new unaccounted young men and women have now crossed 200 in the last two weeks.
A high-level official from a law enforcement agency confirmed the number to the Dhaka Tribune, saying all these men and women were aged similar to the Gulshan and Sholakia attackers.
Seeking anonymity, the official added that authorities were now working to find out if these missing people had any possible militant links.
The number of missing person reports started to climb when the police – in the aftermath of the Gulshan attack – requested families to notify law enforcers about any young sons or daughters who have been missing for some time.
The general diaries (GD) that have been filed since then show that most of the newly reported missing people have been untraceable for a time period spanning from three months to four years.
Another law enforcement source told the Dhaka Tribune that some of the reports suggested that the missing persons had been picked up by someone. Reports like this would be verified and separated from the other ones where there might be some militant link, the source added.
The Police Headquarters has already formed a special cell to coordinate verifications of these missing person reports, the official said.
He added that a list would be finalised after checking with medical centres and police stations about whether any bodies matching the description of the missing persons had been found in recent times.
Of the recent missing person reports, 59 were filed in Dhaka division, 22 in Sylhet, 52 in Bogra, 15 in Barisal, 27 in Rajshahi, 18 in Khulna and 25 were filed in Chittagong.
Some of the missing people also include young women who have stopped all communication with their families. This may be a cause of concern as recently three female members of banned militant outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) were arrested in Tangail.
Police said the women’s families were unaware about their militant activities and had no contact with them for the last couple of months.
Meanwhile, sources said the police would seek help from Interpol if any of the missing persons found to have militant connections were staying abroad. A list on this regard is set to be finalised soon.