Police believe the latest youths to go missing from various parts of the country may have been radicalised by militants.
Investigators say that they are now analysing criminal databases, call lists, previous activities and family backgrounds in their attempts to trace Tanvir Ahmed Tonoy and Jakir Hossain Biplob.
The fourth year students of Pabna Medical College have been reported missing since November 30 and December 1.
Separately, another youth named Niyamotullah, a Hefj department student of Markaj Al Jamiyatul Nafijiya Al Islamiya Madrasa in Barisal, went missing on November 30.
These latest disappearances follow those of four friends who were last seen dining together in a restautrant in the upmarket Banani area of Dhaka on December 1, and two other Dhaka residents who vanished around the same time.
The four friends were North South University students Safayet Hossain, 24, and Zayen Hossain Khan Pavel, 23; and Sobuj alias Sujon, 25, and Mehedi Hasan, 27.
Meanwhile Sayeed Anwar Khan, also a Banani resident, has been reported missing since December 5, while Care Medical College student Imran Farhat, a resident of Dhaka Cantonment area, disappeared on November 29.
Tanvir Ahmed Tonoy
Pabna Medical College student Tonoy’s father Nur Alam Sarker is an accounts officer of soil resource office at Rangpur’s Misripara.
He told the Dhaka Tribune that his son used to stay at the college hostel. Tonoy’s mobile was found switched off after he left the college campus on November 30. Finding no trace, the college authorities filed a general dairy with Pabna sadar police.
Sub-Inspector Milon Poddar, also investigating officer of the GD, told the Dhaka Tribune that they were analysing the call list of Tonoy’s phone. Before it was switched off, the phone was active in Pabna Bscic industrial area. He later opened his phone for some time in Bogra and then switched it off.
Tonoy’s father said that on the last day he had used bKash to respond to a request from his son for money.
Jakir Hossain Biplob
Biplob’s father Suruzzaman was a freedom fighter commander at Kaunia upazila in Rangpur.
“Biplob went home on November 24 and left the house on December 1 to go to Pabna Medical College by train,” he said.
“I spoke to him when the train reached Bonpara area of Gaibandha and later found his phone switched off. We searched for him at different places and relatives’ houses, but did not find him. So I field a GD at Kaunia police station,” he added.
Tonoy and Biplob were friends. Although Tonoy was not involved in politics, Biplob was a Chhatra League leader of the college unit.
Suruzzaman said that Tonoy had been involved with Tabligh Jamaat. The duo attended Tabligh two months back on Tonoy's insistance.
Kaunia police OC Abdul Kader Jilani told the Dhaka Tribune that they were investigating the matter and had already circulated their photos to different parts of the country.
The madrasa student from Barisal’s Agailjhara upazila disappeared on November 30 after Johr prayers. After three days, he sent an SMS to his mother’s mobile phone, saying: “Maa, I am well. Do not worry about me. I have chosen the path of Allah.”
The mother, Kohinur Begum, said that her son was not a meritorious boy and had been admitted to another madrasa two years ago. He used to follow Al Amin Mohammadiya Jame Mosque Imam Jalil Bepari.
Niyamotullah’s father, Khorshed Bepari, said that after his disappearance, they had filed a GD with Agailjhara police station.
Niyamotullah’s uncle, Shahadat Hossain, told the Dhaka Tribune that after failing to reach him over the phone, they had sent him an SMS.
“Last Monday, he sent us an SMS saying ‘I am on duty. Call you later.’ But he did not call back.”
Agailjhara police OC Monirul Islam told the Dhaka Tribune that Niyamotullah’s mother was questioned at the RAB 8 office on Tuesday.
“Police are analysing the places Niyamotullah used to go and the people he met with,” he said, adding that they were trying to trace the youth. According to his phone records, Neyamotullah’s last position was Dhaka.
DMP Deputy Commissioner (media) Masudur Rahman told the Dhaka Tribune that the police were working sincerely to trace the missing youths.
“The Detective Branch of police is also working on it,” he said.