RAB accused of picking up ailing son from mother's side

Mayer Dak holds press briefing at Dhaka Reporters Unity demanding Rahmat Ullah to be returned to his family after being 'picked up by law enforcement agencies'Suvra Kanti Das

"My son Rahman Ullah has been abducted. He was taken away from me. He is unwell. I want my son back."

A mother, Mumtaz Begum, made these allegations today, Monday, at a press conference held at the Dhaka Reporters Unity in the capital. The press briefing in 'demand of the return of Rahmat Ullah, abducted by the law enforcement agencies' was organised by Mayer Dak, the organisation comprising families of victims of enforced disappearance.

The 20-year-old Mohammad Rahmat Ullah's mother said that her son had been missing for nearly five months. She said that a group of men in RAB uniform and plainclothes had picked up her son and taken him away.

Rahmat Ullah's mother said her son was not involved in politics. He had no enmity with anyone. She cried, "I do not know anything. No one says where he is."

Rahmat Ullah's sister Razia Akhter told the press briefing that their home was at the Boronalai village in Gangutia union of Dhamrai upazila, Manikganj. Rahmat Ullah worked as an electrician. Their father had died long ago. They were three siblings in the family.

Razia said that on 29 August 2023 around midnight, a group of men in RAB uniform and plainclothes came to their home. Rahmat Ullah had fever and was lying by his mother's side. When the law enforcement men came, their mother opened the door. A few members of the law enforcement entered the house and forcefully took Rahmat Ullah away. When asked why, they said he was being taken for questioning.

Mayer Dak holds press briefing at Dhaka Reporters Unity demanding Rahmat Ullah to be returned to his family after being 'picked up by law enforcement agencies'
Suvra Kanti Das

Mumtaz Begum followed them when they were taking Rahmat Ullah away. She saw a RAB vehicle and a Hiace microbus outside. They put Rahmat Ullah into the microbus.

Razia said that on the next day, 30 August, they went to the RAB camp in Manikganj to look for Rahmat Ullah and were told to go to the Dhamrai police station. But the Dhamrai police station did not give them any information. They even went to the Nabinagar RAB camp and Savar detective police (DB) office in search of Rahmat Ullah. The family said that the Dhamrai police station first refused to file a general diary (GD). Later when the news appeared in the local media, they filed the GD on 7 October.

Razia went on to say they went to RAB, the DB office and the jail in search of her brother, but to no avail.

Razia said, "If my brother is involved in any crime, let him be tried under the law. By why enforced disappearance?" She wants her brother back safe and sound.

Effort was made to contact the RAB legal and media win regarding the allegations. However, it was not possible to contact them over the phone at the time.

Also speaking at the press briefing were Imon Faruk, son of victim of enforced disappearance Lakshmipur Sadar upazila BNP (East) organising secretary and former union parishad (UP) chairman Omar Faruk; Lamia Mim, daughter of BNP leader Md Kawsar Hossain; and Jhumur Akhter, sister of the killed Chhatra Dal leader Mahbubur Rahman alias Bappi.

Moderated by Mayer Dak's Manjur Hossain Isha, the briefing was also addressed by the organisation's coordinator Sanjida Islam. Psychiatrist Abdul Huq Pinak expressed his solidarity.

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