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Dhaka Tribune

Mostly people close to families abduct children

Update : 08 Feb 2014, 07:04 PM

Seven-year-old Shakin Alam was the dearest to his parents as he was the youngest among three children. His father Shamsul Alam, a private company employee from Sonargaon, had always been anxious of Shakin as the third grader was a bit restless.

Last Tuesday Shakin did not come back home from his school and the family members could not find him anywhere. In the evening someone called Shamsul over his cell phone and said Shakin had been abducted.

“You have to pay Tk20 lakh if you want your son back unhurt. No tricks. If police know you will get back only the dead body,” threatened the caller.  After six days police recovered Shakin’s body from Mograkul area.

On the same day, Omar Ali High School’s seven grader Jahidul Islam, 13, was abducted in the same style. The abductors demanded Tk10 lakh from the victim’s family over phone and the next day his body was found wrapped in sack near Bhargaon Beribadh. The abductor beheaded him.

The family members of the victims alleged they did not get back their children as they contacted law enforcers. The law enforcers could not do anything. It would have been better if they had given the ransom without informing police.

In the last few days incidents of child abduction for ransom have increased. Sometimes, money could not save them. Police and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) however said the possibilities of rescuing abductees are high if law enforcers help the victims’ families.

But the situation gets complicated when people known to the family of victim are involved in abduction.

Shakin’s father Shamsul Alam told the Dhaka Tribune over phone that he was ready to give the ransom.

“After the first call around 7pm the abductor switched the phone off. Though, later they called several times. According to the abductors’ instruction we went to Narayanganj Bus Stand and Gudaraghat area with the money. But they were not there,” he said.

“We went to police and the RAB. They said they would help rescue my son. We have provided police with all information. But nothing happened,” said raw material trader Rahmat Ali, father of the other victim Jahidul.

However, police do not think that they are responsible for the murders of those two kids or they were killed due to their failure.

“Shakin’s body was decomposed. We think, they had killed both the kids before the family members informed us,” said Sub-Inspector Abdul Haque Sikder, the investigation officer (IO) of the case.

Contacted, Narayanganj Police Superintendent Nurul Islam told the Dhaka Tribune over phone that they were almost confirmed that the victims’ relatives or closely known persons were involved in the abduction and killings.

“We have appointed sources in the area. The killers will be arrested soon,” he said. 

In most cases abductors are close to victims’ families

RAB sources said last year a total of 119 abducted people including 20 children were rescued by them in the country. More than 200 abductors have been arrested in 83 cases filed in this connection.

“It’s true that that most of the abductors were known to the families,” claimed RAB Media Wing Director Habibur Rahman.  

He admitted that many incidents had remained unreported as those family members contacted the abductor and paid the ransom in secret. They do not take the risk.

“Sometimes abductors take away children for trafficking or engaging them in begging. These are different issues,” he said.

Police recovered the decomposed body of a 14-year-old boy from under a sand mound at Yakubdandi village of Patiya upazila in Chittagong early Monday, eight days after he was abducted.

Deceased Ashraful Alam Opu, son of a pharmacy owner Md Idris of South Hulain village under Habilash Dwip union of the upazila, was a student of class-VIII at Patiya Model High School.

Police have so far arrested two neighbours of Opu – Sagor, 19, and Sajjad, 20 – in connection with the abduction and killing.

Last year the much-talked-about abduction took place on November 11 at Keraniganj when schoolboy Parag was taken away from his mother in front of their residence. The mother was shot.

On January 30, an eighth grader of Kurigram Government High School Rayhan, 13, was found dead after five days of the abduction. A tenant of their house abducted him and demanded Tk50 lakh.

At Mirpur in the capital RAB rescued a kid named Anika on January 9 seven days into her abduction. Abductor Nesar Udidin used to work with Anika’s mother at a restaurant. Nesar demanded Tk2 lakh as ransom.

Contacted, Hassan Mahmood Khandker, inspector general of police (IGP), said police had given highest priority to the abduction cases. Sometimes it becomes impossible to rescue them alive as the abductors kill them shortly after abduction or before demanding the money.

“But, no abductors were spared. We arrested them in most of cases,” he claimed.

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