Six Somali students of a private university in Dhaka have been missing for more than a year.
The university filed a general diary (GD) with West Uttara Police Station on July 24, 2017, but police have not been able to trace the students over the last eight months. Their visas have expired.
Seven Somali students enrolled in International University of Business, Agriculture and Technology (IUBAT) in the fall (September-October) session of 2016. Three months later, they went missing.
The missing students are Sakid Hasan Bue, Abdi Rahman Abdullahi Hasan, Mohammad Abukar Dahir, Ali Salad, Sakir Omar Sheikh Abdul Kadir, Abdir Rahman Abdullahi Hasan and Siraji Mohammad Ali.
Meanwhile, one of them, Siraji Mohammad Ali was found. He is currently studying at a university in Uttara. The six others are still missing.
Investigative officer and West Uttara Police Station Sub-Inspector (SI) Mahmudul Hasan said: “The case is under investigation. We could not find the missing students yet.
“We will take copies of their passports from the university authorities and check with immigration authorities to find out if they are still in Bangladesh or have gone to other countries. We will also investigate whether they have got involved with any criminal activities,” he said.
IUBAT authorities said that there are students from Somalia, Nepal and Maldives at the university. In the 2016 fall semester, seven Somali students enrolled in different programs. But they all left without even completing one semester. The university tried to contact them but got no response.
Only one Somali student, Siraji Mohammad Ali, contacted the university three months after the GD was filed. He cleared his dues and took back his passport. He is currently studying Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) at Shanto-Mariam University of Creative Technology, the IUBAT authorities said.
The passports of six other Somalis are still with the IUBAT authorities.
Siraji said: “I got admitted to IUBAT but did not like studying there. So I shifted to Shanto-Mariam University of Creative Technology. I am currently studying BBA here.”
IUBAT International Program Officer MA Majedur Rahman said: “We are concerned over the missing students since they are foreigners. They should not get involved with criminal activities while they stay in a country for study.
“We have tried to contact these students several times but could not reach them. It has been eight months since we filed the GD but police have not informed us anything yet.”
Passport status of the missing students
Sakid Hasan Bue and Sakir Omar Sheikh Abdul Kadir enrolled in the civil engineering program. Sakid’s passport expired on September 7, 2017 while Sakir’s expired on August 25, 2017.
Abdi Rahman Abdullahi Hasan and Mohammad Abukar Dahir enrolled in computer science. Abdi’s passport expired on August 16, 2017 and Abukar’s passport expired on September 1, 2017.
Abdir Rahman Hasan was admitted to the electrical engineering program. His passport expired on August 16, 2017.
IUBAT official Majedur said: “None of the six students have contacted us yet. The agency through which the Somali students enrolled in our university has contacted us.”
The agency that brought the students to Bangladesh
Banana Team is an agency affiliated with more than 50 universities and organizations in 15 countries around the world. There is a branch of Banana Team in Somalia as well.
Usually, students from Somalia come to study in Bangladesh through this agency. The agency works as a medium between students and universities. There are currently 43 students at IUBAT who enrolled in the university through Banana Team. The six missing students got admitted to IUBAT through the same agency.
This article was first published on banglatribune.com