• Thursday, Aug 05, 2021
  • Last Update : 09:08 pm

Mystery shrouds disappearance of journalist Kajol

  • Published at 12:26 am April 21st, 2020
Shafiqul Islam Kajol
Shafiqul Islam Kajol Collected

Kajol’s mobile phone was traced at Benapole for brief time on April 9, say investigators

Mystery shrouds the disappearance of photojournalist Shafiqul Islam Kajol with the investigators claiming that his mobile phone was traced near the border with India while a senior police official claimed his family received a call demanding ransom.

Kajol’s family filed a general diary with the Chawkbazar police station in Dhaka on March 12 as they were unable to reach him after he left home on March 10.

Kajol, who had previously worked as a photojournalist at national dailies, 'Dainik Samakal' and 'Banik Barta', is the editor of the fortnightly magazine ,'Pokkhokal'.

Over 40 days into his disappearance, police say they had found his mobile phone was switched on for a short period on April 9.

It was traced at Jessore’s Benapole, according to Officer in-Charge Moudud Howlader of the Chawkbazar police station. 

“It was switched on for a short time. So it was not possible to conduct raids in Benapole to find him amid the ongoing situation,” he told Dhaka Tribune. 

A senior police official, however, said he was not aware of the development before adding that Kajol’s family had received a call demanding ransom for his release.

“Some two weeks ago, an unidentified man called the family and said they had abducted Kajol before demanding ransom,” said Deputy Commission Muntasirul Islam of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s (DMP) Lalbagh Division before adding that the number was later found switched off. 

Nearly two weeks after Kajol’s disappearance, a security camera video emerged on March 22, which showed Kajol being followed before his disappearance.

In the video, released by Amnesty International on Twitter, some unidentified men were also seen tampering with his motorcycle outside his office.

“CCTV footage reveals Bangladeshi journalist Shafiqul Islam Kajol being followed, his motorbike tampered, before what is feared to be an enforced disappearance,” the UK-based human rights group said in the tweet.

Dhaka Tribune could not verify the authenticity of the video independently.

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