Police allegedly not taking GD despite HC order
Despite the High Court’s order, police have yet to register a general diary (GD) for the disappearance of Michael Chakma.
Michael Chakma, a top leader of the United People’s Democratic Front (UPDF), went missing on April 9, 2019, on his way to Dhaka from Kanchpur in Narayanganj, claimed his family. This Chittagong Hill Tracts-based UPDF organizer is also the central general secretary of the United Workers’ Democratic Front (UWDF).
The remarks were made by Sunoyon Chakma, general secretary of Pahari Chhatra Parishad (PCP), in a press conference held on Wednesday at Dhaka’s Press Club.
In the press conference, Sunoyon said: “Subhadra Chakma, older sister of the missing, applied for Habeas Corpus (a writ requiring a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court, especially to secure the person's release unless lawful grounds are shown for their detention) about eight months ago. Following that, the High Court then ordered police to register a missing person’s GD, but nothing has been done by the police yet.”
The indigenous people, present at the press conference, called the role of police ‘suspicious’.
On April 16 Sunoyon went to Sonargaon Police to file a GD, but the police took it as an allegation only.
After investigation, police told the victim’s family that Michael’s phone was last located at Momota Shopping Complex in Kachukhet of Dhaka’s Kafrul area on May 15.
On April 19, 2019, when Dhonoggo Chakma went to register a GD, Sonargaon Police informed him that they have already filed a GD and the number was 772.
“But later when a receipt for the GD was requested, Sonargaon Police said the copy of the GD would be given on a later date. After some time, police denied having any GD copy, and refused to file a new GD for missing Michael Chakma,” said Sunoyon Chakma.
However, after a High Court writ on May 13, the court ordered the Home Affairs Secretary on May 21, to submit a report on Michael’s disappearance. The Inspector General of Police replied to the court that they could not find anybody named Michael Chakma in any prisons in Bangladesh.
On November 4, the High Court ordered the police to file a missing person GD.
Sunoyon Chakma also alleged that when he went to Sonargaon Police Station on January 5 and 7, 2020, to file a GD, the police did not take the GD of missing Micheal Chakma.
Sunoyon Chakma claimed in the press conference: “We suspect Michael Chakma might have been kidnapped.”
When Dhaka Tribune contacted the Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Sonargaon Police Station to learn about the matter, OC Moniruzzaman Monir claimed they had already registered a GD.
He added: “The indigenous group may not be happy with us for some reason, that’s why the group has been making such untrue statements.”
“The day they (the family of the victim) came to file a GD, he (Michael) was in Dhaka.. He told one of his friends that he had reached Dhaka. We have the call record of that particular conversation. The phone was switched off after that.”
The OC claimed that there were 10 to 12 cases against Michael.
In the press conference, Sunoyon said: “The OC told them that Michael might be apprehended by law enforcement agencies as he had cases lodged against him. The OC said the same to this correspondent as well.
Sonargaon police suggested to the victim’s family to file a GD with Kafrul Police Station, as the mobile phone was last located in Kafrul. But when the family went there, Kafrul Police did not file a GD as well, Sunoyon claimed.
Kafrul Police Station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Selimuzzaman, said he could not recall anything about it.
Jatiya Mukti Council general secretary Foyzul Hakim Lala said: “We need accountability. This is very important. We should not consider it a small matter. Common people should be involved with it (to find Michael).”
Eminent writer and columnist Prof Rahnuma Ahmed urged civil society to march to the police station and file a GD.