20 March 2018, Tue, 12:17

Missing businessman returns home, alleges torture

Businessman Sajal Chowdhury, who had gone missing one week ago, returned home on Sunday morning, according to his family members.

His mother Delwara Begum alleged a group of 15-16 people introducing themselves as members of Detective Branch picked the businessman up from his Bashundhara residence in the capital on March 11.

Speaking to reporters after returning home on Sunday, Sajal said the abductors left him in a local bazar in Raipur near Daudkandi in Comilla early in the morning. He said he reached home at 10:30am.

People who had gone missing and then returned home so far have given similar statements about their release.

Sajal alleged that he was tortured, adding that the abductors were highly trained.
The abductors told him that nine people had complained to them about him, Sajal added.
They repeatedly asked him to return the money he had taken from the people. He was also told to change the ownership of a piece of land that is owned by his mother. The Uttara land is of one bigha.

Sajal claimed they also asked him to withdraw the Tk 100 million graft case he had filed against his business partner.

According to Sajal, before his release, the abductors said, "Do note that we are freeing you after just eight days although we have nine complaints against you." He said he was given Tk 2,000 before he was being freed.

Sajal's mother alleged that his second wife, his business partner and an army officer are behind the abduction. A big amount was exchanged to this end, she believes.

A police source also said there are some allegations of fraud against Sajal as well. He has been giving advertisements in the newspapers for a bride.

Seeing the ad, an army officer contacted Sajal, who took a big amount of money from the defence person to marry his sister. However, the marriage did not take place.

Sajal claimed that during those days he saw a ground, which looked like that of RAB-1. He also saw the words 'RAB 1, Cell 3' written on the key ring at the room where he had been kept.
He thinks his abductors were probably members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB).
The elite force, however, denied the allegation.

Commander Mohammad Mufti Mahmud Khan, RAB's media and legal wing director, told The media that the businessman's family members were saying different things at different times.

"Earlier Sajal's mother said that he had been picked up by people introducing them as members of the Detective Brach. While speaking to another media house, she said two brothers of his former wife were also present while he was being picked up. After some time, they might name different people or different organisations," said the RAB official.

If RAB arrests anyone, he or she is sent to the court as per the law, Mufti claimed.