Accuses the home minister of “fully ignoring claims of forced disappearance”
Former state minister Sohel Taj says parents of missing university student Syed Iftekhar Alam Sourav received calls from his Whatsapp account, early Wednesday.
On Facebook Live, at around midnight, Taj said Sourav’s parents confirmed that 2 or 3 calls were made to their mobile phones from a Whatsapp account registered with Sourav’s mobile number.
“After receiving the call, however, they could not hear anything from the other side. They tried a lot, but no sound could be heard. They could not figure out who was on the other side of the call,” he added.
Sourav, a media and communication student at Independent University Bangladesh, went missing on June 9. He is the son of Syeda Yasmin Arjuman, niece of Bangladesh’s first prime minister, Tajuddin Ahmed.
Anjuman and Sourav’s father, Md Idris Alam, also spoke during the live stream.
“The call was made to my phone at around 2.20am. After receiving it, I repeatedly said hello, and waited for an answer from the other side. But I could not hear anything, although the call was connected,” the victim’s father said on the live stream.
“Finding no reply, I called back but no one recieved the call,” he added.
The parents also instantly sent a text message to Sourav’s number asking about his whereabouts. However, no reply was received.
Sourav’s mother also tried to reach the number from her phone, but the calls were not answered.
“I called the DC (crime), DC north, and the Panchlaish police station OC (Officer-in-Charge), informing them of the calls. They told us to be patient, and assured us that they would inform us of his whereabouts after tracing the calls,” said Sourav’s father, Md Idris Alam, on live stream.
“We hope the authorities, and the police administration will inform us soon in this regard. Maybe, we will get good news. But, we will not end our own investigation here, because such incidents should not happen to anyone,” Sohel Taj said.
In a second live stream at 6.30pm in the day, he urged the minister to look into the matter.
He also alleged that the home minister had “fully ignored” the allegations of his nephew’s forced disappearance.
“My question to the home minister is: Have you started any departmental inquiry to find the truth behind the allegations? I did not hear anything in this regard.”
“Form a committee to investigate the truth behind the allegations. This is your responsibility,” he said in the live stream.
He also showed anger over the involvement of law enforcers in a family matter.
“I hope our prime minister will look into it,” he added.
Earlier on June 17 at a press conference in the capital, Sourav’s mother Anjuman said her son went missing when he went to respond to a job offer from RAB.
“RAB officials contacted Sourav, and told him to be present on June 9 in front of Agora in the Chittagong Mimi Super Market area at 7pm with his passport, certificates, and CV, ” she told the press conference.
The victim’s family also said that on May 16, 2019, Sourav was previously abducted, for the first time, from his temporary residence in the capital’s Banani, by a group who identified themselves as DGFI, and RAB personnel. He was dropped back to his residence the next day.