Safa’s mother Nilufa joined the conversation. She said, “Safa has only seen the picture of her father. She started asking about her father when she started going to school. She becomes sad when her classmates discuss about their fathers. She asks me about the whereabouts of her father. I can’t give any reply. How can I!”

Sohel was vice president of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal’s Bangshal unit. Men cliamed to be law enforcers picked him up from Shahbagh in December 2019. He has not been found since then.

“I went to innumerable places searching for Sohel. I believe he would come back one day,” Nilufar said.

I don’t know if my father is dead or alive

Ismail Hossain, a timber trader from Mirpur, went missing on 19 June 2019. His daughter Anisha Islam was a seventh grader at that time. Anisha, now in class IX, joined the human chain along with her mother Nasrin Jahan.

“I have been crying for my mother for three years. My eyes have dried up. I’m a wretched child. I become confused while I pray for my father. Sometimes I pray to Allah to grant him a place in heaven. Sometimes I ask Allah to return my father. I don’t know if my father is dead or alive. I want to know the whereabouts of my father,” Anisha told the human chain.

A mother’s last wish

People identifying them as law enforcers picked up Chhatra League’s Rampura unit president Moazzem Hossain Tapu from his house at Badda in 2016.

Speaking at the human chain programme, Moazzem’s mother Saleha said, “I want to know from the government why my son became a victim of enforced disappearance. I want to know what his fault was. He might face trial if he commits any crime.”

“I want an investigation about the ‘Aynaghar’ of which we are hearing lately. I’m now fighting for life. I don’t know where I would die. I want to hear my son calling me mother even for once before I die. I have nothing more to wish," Saleha added.

BNP leader Chowdhury Alam went missing from Dhaka’s Indira Road area on 25 June 2010.

His brother Khurshid Alam said, “Plainclothesmen identifying them as law enforcers picked up Chowdhury Alam. I beseeched to give back the body of my brother if they killed him. We don’t want anything from the government. We wouldn’t even seek justice. But give back the body of my brother!”

Call for investigation under UN

BNP leader Sajedul Islam went missing from Basundhara residential area along with five friends in December 2013. His sister Sanjida Islam is the coordinator of ‘Mayer Dak’.

Speaking at the human chain, Sanjida demanded a probe committee formed under the aegis of the United Nations to investigate the incidents of enforced disappearances.

“This team will search for the missing persons and return my brothers who are confined at secret cells like 'Aynaghar' to their families. They will also bring to the book those who are involved with such heinous activities and hold them accountable based on the investigation.”

Recently a documentary of news portal Netra News said that the victims of enforced disappearance are confined at a secret cell named ‘Aynaghar’.

Independent investigation body sought

Human rights activist Nur Khan Litan said, “The victims of enforced disappearance who come back don’t speak. They were confined in such an environment that they don’t dare to speak.”

“The government has to take initiative to bring back the missing persons. The secret prisons have to be identified and those who are running these should be brought to book. An independent and impartial investigation commission should be formed immediately,” Nur Khan added.

I was also confined in such a room

Referring to ‘Aynaghar’, Nagorik Oikya’s president Mahmudur Rahman Manna said, “I was also confined in such a room. I was blindfolded for two hours and then I was moved to that room. The room is barely enough for a bed. That room had no window and a single door. You can’t even breathe if the door is closed.”

Govt must answer

Member of BNP’s international affairs committee Tabith Awal said, “We are coming up with the same question over and over. Where are the members of our families? The government must answer this question.”

He said the whole world now stands beside the families of victims of enforced disappearance.

Confined persons must be freed

Gana Adhikar Parishad’s member secretary Nurul Haque said, “The victims of enforced disappearance are confined at 'Aynaghar'. We want clarification from the authorities concerned. Otherwise, we have to beseige the 'Aynaghar' and freed the confined persons.”