• Thursday, Apr 02, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:39 am

Missing RAB officer returns after 1.5 years

  • Published at 03:52 pm February 22nd, 2020
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File photo: Missing former RAB 7 CO Lt Col Hasinur Rahman's wife Shamima Akhtar and her brother addressing a press briefing at the Crime Reporters Association of Bangladesh in Dhaka on Friday, August 18, 2018 Courtesy

Lt Col Hasinur Rahman was allegedly picked up by 14 or 15 men in plainclothes from near his home in Dhaka’s Mirpur DOHS on the night of August 8, 2018

A former sacked commanding officer of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) returned to his Mirpur house on Friday, some 18 and a half months after he went missing.

Lt (sacked) Col Hasinur Rahman was allegedly picked up by 14 or 15 men in plainclothes from near his home in Dhaka’s Mirpur DOHS on the night of August 8, 2018.

The next day, a general diary (GD) was filed with Pallabi police station.

He was sacked from the army and stripped of his rank for his alleged links to militancy.

Confirming his return, Pallabi police station Inspector (investigation) Abdul Mahbud said Hasinur's wife informed them that he came back before midnight on Friday.

"Our officer will go to his house and talk to him to try and understand what actually happened," said Inspector Mahbud.

Contacted, Hasinur’s wife Shamima Akhter said: "He has no injury marks, but his speech is incoherent. So we aren't troubling him with anything.”

Shamima also said he has high blood pressure and that he will seek medical advice.

“Though Hasinur is physically fit, he is psychologically unwell. We are not asking him anything. What matters to us most is his return,” she added.

Hasinur, who also served in Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) for a while, was fired from the Bangladesh Army for his alleged ties to militants when he was stationed at RAB-7. However, his family had earlier disputed the matter and said he was a patriot and the victim of a conspiracy.

On August 17, 2018, Shamima in a press conference said Hasinur’s abductors were wearing jackets with “DB” (Detective Branch of police) inscribed on them when they forced him into a microbus.

At the media briefing, she sought Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s intervention in finding him. 

According to the rights group Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), as many as 344 people fell victim to “enforced disappearance” between 2014 and July 2019. Of them, 40 were later found dead, 66 shown arrested in different cases and 35 returned, while 203 are still missing.

Interestingly, most of the returnees remain discreet about what happened to them during the disappearance.