Utpal Das, the reporter who himself became a report, has described his relief at being freed after two-and-a-half months of squalid confinement by unknown abductors.
The senior reporter of news portal purbopaschimbd.com went missing on October 10 after leaving his office at Motijheel in the commercial heart of Dhaka.
“The people who abducted me took away my mobile phone (and) I do not know what happened next,” the 29-year-old said.
“As I did not have my phone with me during my incarceration, I had no access to apps such as Facebook and Viber at that time.”
Bhulta police station In-Charge SI Shahidul Alam said Utpal was dropped off in front of the Shahjalal Petrol Pump in Adhuria Village at around 11:30am on Tuesday.
The freed journalist had no way of tracing his movements in the anxious moments leading up to his release.
“I was in a car blindfolded while it roamed around for three-to-four hours. Then I was dropped off in Adhuria,” he said.
“They let me out of the car and told me to open my eyes only after they had pulled away, and it is the only recollection of the event I have.”
Shortly after he was found roaming around in Adhuria, Utpal stated that he is okay.
“As you can see, I am holding up pretty well. I have Tk300 in my pocket and it should be enough to get me home.”
Uptal, who lives in a flat in Dhaka’s Fakirapool, said his captors had kept him in a tin-shed house.
“The room I was kept in had no bed, so I slept on the floor. The door was locked all the time, and food was delivered from under the door,” he said.
“My abductors demanded money from me and slapped me around on a few occasions.”
Utpal’s family members including his father, mother and sister arrived at Bhulta Police Station to take him home at around 2:40pm on Wednesday.
“I am very happy and feel so relieved,” Utpal’s mother said.
Utpal’s sister Binita Rani said a month ago a person identifying as SI Ripon demanded money from the family reportedly for Utpal’s treatment.
The family received several phone calls demanding money for Utpal during his abduction, but they refused to pay anything without being able to talk to him.
This article was first published on Bangla Tribune