One month on, no progress in finding Salah Uddin


The whereabouts of Bangladesh Nationalist Party joint secretary general Salah Uddin Ahmed remains unknown one month after he went missing on March 10 after law enforcers allegedly picked him up from a house in the capital’s Uttara. The family members, who have been blaming law enforcers since he was picked up, were passing their days in anxiety and twice sought the intervention of prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, into finding the BNP leader out, as the family firmly believed he was picked by law enforcement agencies. The law enforcers said they had been looking for him since before the incident in Uttara, but they were yet to find him out. Salah Uddin’s wife Hasina Ahmed said that he took shelter at the house in Uttara Sector-3 to avoid arrest but was picked up and his whereabouts remained unknown since. On March 11, Salah Uddin’s wife said her husband was picked up by law enforcers from the first floor of a three-storey building on road 13/B, at about 10:15pm on March 10. Until his disappearance, Salah, a two-time parliamentarian from Cox’s Bazar and former cabinet member, was working as the spokesperson for the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led alliance. The family also moved to High Court seeking his safe return, which has not yielded any result as yet. Police filed a separate General Diary with Uttara West police station stating they were to confirm if it was Salah Uddin who was picked up, but claimed they were investigating it. After one month, the Uttara West police station officer-in-charge Rafikul Islam told New Age they have no update in the investigation into the whereabouts of the BNP leader. ‘Our investigation is continuing but there is not meaningful progress yet…other units are also working in this connection. Teams at headquarters are working too,’ he said. Meanwhile, rights activists and lawyers expressed their disappointment as the government failed to produce him public. ‘It is the responsibility of the government either to produce him in public or announce what fate he had faced….the responsibility lies with the government as his family is still accusing law enforcement agencies for the incident,’ said rights activist Nur Khan Liton,  also a member of  Mawlik Odhikar Surakkha Mancha. A criminal case practitioner, Aminul Islam, also said it is definitely the government’s failure as law enforcement agencies failed to find him out even after one month of his disappearance. In the early hours of March 8, three days before the Bangladesh Nationalist Party leader Salah Uddin Ahmed is alleged to have been picked up by law enforcement officers, his two drivers and personal assistant were detained by the paramilitary force, Rapid Action Battalion, New Age earlier reported. The three men were arrested from their homes in West Kalachadpur and Badda between 1 am and 3.30 am and held for over 48 hours before being taken to a magistrate’s court two days later where they were accused of ‘sheltering’ the BNP leader. Rapid Action Battalion admitted to New Age that they had been searching for Salah Uddin before he disappeared on 10 March, but denied that the detention of the three men suggested that the paramilitary force was subsequently involved in picking up the BNP leader. On that night, March 10, Salah Uddin was allegedly picked up from a flat in Uttara. New Age has previously reported that local security guards in sector 3 of Uttara were approached that evening by RAB officials looking for road 13A where Salah Uddin was then living. The guard of the house has also said that men, introducing themselves as detective branch officers, took the BNP leader away, blindfolded.

Source: New Age