Mayer Daak, the platform of the families of enforced disappearance victims, organised the protest rally participated by the victims’ relatives whom police have been frequenting recently or who have been called to police stations or who faced intimidation to sign police statements.
However, members of Dhaka Metropolitan Police‘s media wing came to the rally prior to the arrival of the newspersons and the victims’ families and relatives. Police members recorded the speeches of the victims’ families, and asked them various questions. Members of Mayer Daak welcomed the police’s efforts.
Coordinator of Mayer Daak, Afroza Islam said, “We welcome the investigation. You (police) said you want to send documents to the UN. We will cooperate for our own sake. You are occasionally calling these 'half-widows' to the police station during night and day, kept them waiting for two hours, so they are going through fear. Whatever you police have to do to bring back the missing persons, do it with humanity.”
Afroza Islam further said police are now trying to say information has been concealed. When their relatives fell victim to enforced disappearance police did not want to register a case or a general diary. When she went to the Vatara police station after her brother Sajedul Islam was missing, the Vatara police told her to go to the Tejgaon police, the Tejgaon police told her to go to the Uttara police. When she said RAB picked up his brother in front of 6-7 people, she could not file the general diary.
She said they have been told to write that victim did not return home or was found. They have been vocal about it previously for a thousand times. Now police are spouting nonsense claiming information has been concealed. Afroza Islam said families of the victims of enforced disappearance want an independent, impartial and judicial investigation. They also demanded the UN probe committee be allowed to visit the country.
Parvez Hossain, who was the president of Chattra Dal’s Bangshal unit, has gone missing for several years. Parvez Hossain’s wife Farzana Akhter said she now lives at her parents’ home with her children. Several days back, police along with a local leader of Awami Leader went to the house of her father-in-law in Bangshal. Police called her over the phone of her mother-in-law and asked her to meet them. She replied she would inform police after her return to Dhaka and whatever information police need, she would provide. At that time, that police member told her to meet him at a restaurant, she added.
That police member even told her mother-in-law that Farzana Akhter knows the whereabouts of her husband and she keeps him hidden. At the rally, Farzana Akhter put a question, even if she keeps her husband hidden why could police not find him?
Alamagir Molla, an activist of BNP from Lakshmipur, has gone missing. Alamagir Molla’s father Shahjahan Molla said he had to visit the police station several times since 10 January. Police wrote down details on what happened to his son. He saw several copies but police did not provide him with a copy of the statement which he signed.
Farid Ahmed from Lakshmipur also went missing. Farid Ahmed’s sister Shilpi said police visited their house several times and took her signature as well as her husband’s and mother's on various documents.
Police thrice visited the house of Abdul Kader Masum, who went missing from Dhaka. Every time police asked same questions.
Along with the relatives of the victims of enforced disappearance, Nagarik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna, Dhaka University professor Asif Nazrul, rights organisation Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) general secretary Nur Khan Liton, National Press Club general secretary Illas Khan, rights organisation Odhikar director Nasiruddin Elan, Faizul Hakim Lala secretary Jatiya Mukti Council and Ganasanghati Andolon chief coordinator Junaid Saki also spoke at rally.