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  • Last Update : 11:49 pm

BGB detains missing journalist Kajol, files case for trespassing

  • Published at 08:47 am May 3rd, 2020
Missing journalist Kajol detained from Benapole border
File photo of Police escort Shafiqul Islam Kajol at a Khulna court on Sunday, May 3, 2020 Dhaka Tribune

Kajol was detained from Benapole border early Sunday

Journalist Shafiqul Islam Kajol, who remained missing for about three months, has been detained from Benapole border in Jessore on allegation of intruding into the country.

Members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) apprehended Kajol at a field in Sadipur village, adjacent to the border, early Sunday, confirmed Roghunathpur BGB Camp Commander Havildar Ashek Ali.

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

"The journalist was handed over to Benapole port police station," Ashek Ali added.

Meanwhile, the border guard force filed a case (case number 5) against the journalist for illegally entering Bangladesh from India, said Mamun Khan, officer-in-charge (OC) of the police station.

"He will be produced before a Jessore court later on the day. Meanwhile, we have sent him to the court," the OC added.

'I am alive'

The journalist's son, Monorom Polok, said an individual identifying himself as Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Obaidul, duty officer at the Benapole port police station, called him at 2:48am on Sunday and informed him his father was under police custody. 

Polok said: "He [the ASI] let me speak to my father and asked me to come to the police station. 

"My father expressed his gratitude to the Almighty, saying 'I am alive.'"

Polok, however, informed the matter to Chawkbazar police station and also talked to Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Assistant Commissioner (Chawkbazar zone) Elias Hossain, who also confirmed the journalist's detention. 

Later, he started for Benapole to meet Kajol. 

Case filed under DSA and Kajol's disappearance 

The journalist went missing on March 10, a day after a case was filed by Saifuzzaman Shikhor, ruling party lawmaker for Magura 1, with Sher-e-Bangla Nagar police station in Dhaka.

Kajol and 30 others, including Manabzamin Editor Matiur Rahman Chowdhury, were accused in the case filed under the Digital Security Act (DSA) for publishing and sharing a news article on social media regarding expelled Jubo Mohila League leader Shamima Noor Papia.

Kajol's family filed a general diary with the Chawkbazar police station in the capital on March 11 and later filed a case on March 18 with the same police station regarding the disappearance. 

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. 

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

Mystery shrouds the disappearance 

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

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

It was traced at Jessore's Benapole, according to Officer in-Charge (OC) Moudud Howlader of 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 [coronavirus] situation," he told Dhaka Tribune.

DMP Deputy Commissioner (Lalbagh Division) Muntasirul Islam said Kajol's family had received a call demanding ransom for his release.

Meanwhile, Article 19, a UK based human rights organization, the Amnesty International and few other national and international organizations expressed concern regarding Kajol's disappearance.

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