'I struggled so much to make him physician, but he became a militant’

CTTC raided 'militant den' at remote hilly area of Kulaura upazila in Moulvibazar
Prothom Alo

Helal Uddin would eke out a living by farming. His joy knew no bounds when his son got a chance to study in medical college.

“I struggled so much to make him a physician but he has now become a militant. He has dishonoured me.” This is how Helal Uddin from Porabari village in Saidabad union in Sirajganj Sadar upazila was lamenting about his son Sohel Tanjim.

Tanjim and his wife Maisha went missing on 26 July this year. Helal Uddin filed a general diary (GD) with Enayetpur police station. Later the family came to know that Maisha was arrested in a drive against militants. Sohel Tanjim was there too, but he escaped.

Counter terrorism and transnational unit (CTTC) on Saturday raided a ‘militant’s den’ in a remote hilly area in Moulvibazar’s Kulaura upazila and arrested 10 people. According to CTTC the arrestees are the members of ‘Imam Mahmuder Kafela’, a new militant outfit. Three kilograms of explosives, 50 detonators, Tk 361,000 and equipment of militant training were said to be recovered in the drive.

Helal Uddin is a former member of ward no. 2 of Soydabad union parishad. Tanjim is the eldest of his two sons and a daughter. Family members said RAB-1 arrested him in 2022 on suspicion of involvement with militancy. Helal Uddin was dumbstruck at that time. But Tanjim joined a job and got married after walking out of jail on bail.

Helal started to hope that his son would get back to normal life. Helal Uddin started to keep his son under watch. He even warned his son of taking action if get derailed again. But none of his actions worked out.

Tanjim got acquainted with 20-year old Maisha Islam and married her without the consent of the family two and half months ago. Maisha is daughter of Saidul Islam alias Dulal of Chandpur Bazar area in Natore Sadar upazila.

Helal said Tanjim has always been a good student. The day Tanjim got admitted into Rajshahi medical college, his father thought fortune had finally smiled on them.

“Me, my wife and offspring—all five members of my family are like friends. Yet, how could this happen!”

Tanjim used to work at Khwaja Yunus Ali Medical College & Hospital. Helal Uddin said the hospital authorities called at the end of July and informed that Tanjim did not go to work for four days. His colleagues could not connect him on the phone and his wife’s number was also switched off. Helal finally filed a general diary after searching for Tanjim for two-three days.

Helal Uddin said he went to the house where Tanjim would live. The locals said they saw Tanjim and wife leaving the house with their belongings.

Khwaja Yunus Ali Medical College’s general manager Koushik Ahmed told Prothom Alo that the hospital authorities failed to reach Tanjim and his wife as he remained absent at work on 25 July.

Later, the hospital authorities contacted Tanjim's father. Later Koushik, along with Tanjim’s father, went to Enayetpur police station and filed a GD on 31 July.

“I had a dream that my son would become a renowned physician. I planned to marry him off with fanfare. I had a plan to bring the bride and groom home by helicopter. That dream is now dashed. My son has ruined my honour.”