Kajol went missing after a case against him and 30 others was filed under the Digital Security Act
It has been almost a month, but police have not been able to find anything about the missing journalist Shafiqul Islam Kajol, after he went missing on March 10.
After dilly-dallying for 10 days, when New Market and Chawkbazar police stations shrugged off their responsibility to take the case saying the incident did not happen in their territories, Chawkbazar police eventually took the case, on March 18, after a court order.
And now, they claim to get nothing in the face of “coronavirus pandemic”.
On the other hand his family is counting each day with the “firm belief” that he will return any day.
“We believe that he will return soon, though there is no assurance,” said Monorom Polok, son of Kajol.
Kajol is the editor of the fortnightly Pakkhokal.
Polok regrets not being able to do anything to find his father as he is unable to go out because of the lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Investigation officer (IO) of the case, Sub-Inspector (SI) Munshi Abdul Lokman claimed that they are trying their best.
“We are not getting any clue regarding his (Kajol) disappearance. His family could not give any reasons behind it,” the SI said while talking to Dhaka Tribune on Monday morning.
“In view of the lockdown, problems are worsening, I am not being able to investigate properly,” he said.
This officer said, he is checking the CCTV footage repeatedly, “everyday.”
“I am trying to find (watching footage) if somebody followed him, but found nothing,” he said, “He drove his motorcycle towards the road of New Market police station from his own office.”
When asked about Kajol’s phone’s last pinged location, Munshi said: “His phone was last seen on the day he went missing at 5:57pm at his own office. I will apply again for his call list tomorrow (Tuesday).”
But his son Polok earlier claimed, after watching CCTV footage collected from a nearby building, he saw his father using his phone in front of his office, sitting on his own motorcycle.
"He waited for someone on his motorcycle in front of his office for about 20 minutes and was using his phone. He left the place at around 6:50pm," said Polok.
However, when called on Monday evening to know about the update of the case, the Officer-In-Charge (OC) of Chawkbazar police station Moudud Hawladar first rejected the call, and a few minutes later his phone was found switched off.
Family worried but hopeful
Kajol’s son Polok said: “My mother and sister cry every day, they are upset, but hopeful.
“Things are getting tougher for us as we are going to face financial problems which will become worse with time.”
He said he is thinking of arranging a “digital human chain” on April 12.
“We are arranging a Facebook event where people will write something on paper (as they do on banners), and post it on the event.” Polok said.
Kajol, including Manabzamin Editor Matiur Rahman Chowdhury and 30 others, were accused in a case filed under the Digital Security Act for publishing and sharing a news article on social media regarding expelled Jubo Mohila League leader Shamima Noor Papia.
Kajol has been missing since March 10, when the case was filed.
Meanwhile, Article 19, a UK based human rights organization, the Amnesty International and few other national and international organizations have expressed concern regarding Kajol's disappearance.
Kajol is the editor of the fortnightly Pakkhokal and he worked for national dailies Samakal and Bonik Barta as a photo-journalist.