Police are looking for 11 boys and young men in Mymensingh, Gaibandha and Jamalpur since they were reported missing following the terror attacks in Dhaka and Kishoreganj earlier this month.
Police are now looking for seven teens and young men who went missing from different upazilas in Mymensingh in the past 18 months, a 12-year-old madrasa student from Jamalpur's Islampur upazila who has been missing for five months, and three men in Gaibandha's Sadullahpur upazila who went missing in the past two years, our correspondents in the districts have reported.
The terrorists who attacked Holey Artisan Bakery in Gulshan, Dhaka on July 1 and Sholakia Eidgah in Kishoreganj on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr on July 7 – killing at least 25 people – had been missing for a long time before they resurfaced before the attacks.
After law enforcement agencies urged citizens to report any suspicious case of missing persons in their families following the terror attacks, there have been hundreds of general diaries (GD) reporting missing persons – especially persons in their teens and 20s – around the country.
Sources at Mymensingh Detective Branch of police said detectives are looking for the seven missing persons and also if they have any militant connections.
As recorded in the GDs, three of the missing persons are from Phulbaria upazila – two of whom are teenagers, one from Bhaluka, one teenager from Gafargaon, one from Haluaghat and one teenager from Dhobaura, said Nur-e-Alam, additional superintendent of police in the district Detective Branch (DB).
They were reported missing between February 2015 and July this year, he told the Dhaka Tribune.
A source in the DB said they are giving high priority to the cases of missing persons in the wake of the recent terror attacks. “We are conducting search operations around the district based on the information we have gathered so far.”
Meanwhile, a 12-year-old student at Dhengargarh Sultania Hafizia Madrasa in Islampur, Jamalpur went missing on his way to the madrasa on the morning of February 12 this year, according to the GD filed by his father.
Islampur police station OC Dween-e-Alam confirmed the matter to the Dhaka Tribune and said the boy's family had been looking for him by themselves, but came to file a GD with police on Wednesday when news reports on missing young persons began circulating in media.
Police are looking into this case and working to find out if there are any militant connections, the OC told the Dhaka Tribune.
In Gaibandha, one of the trio, a 28-year-old fabric supplier, went missing on December 16, 2015 in Chittagong, a 40-year-old RMG factory employee went missing in Dhaka on January 15, 2014, and a 20-year-old grocer went missing in the district's Dhaperhat union on April 1, 2015.
Families of all three men filed GDs with police, but police have yet to find their traces, said Sadullahpur police station OC Farhad Imrul Kayes.
When contacted, Gaibandha Superintendent of Police Md Ashraful Islam said police are investigating what the men's regular activities were and whether they had come into contact with militant outfits.
“We are also running campaigns to make people aware of militancy and how to prevent it,” he told the Dhaka Tribune.
Earlier on Friday, our correspondents in Bogra and Chittagong reported at least 22 cases of missing persons reported in the two districts.
In Bogra, 17 persons were reported missing, six of whom have confirmed militant links, police said.
In Chittagong, five persons have been reported missing, three of whom are teenagers and one 12 years old. Three of them were madrasa students. Police have not yet found any links between the missing persons and militancy.