Mother pleads for return of two sons 'picked up' along with three others
Ramisa Khanam, bent with age and illness, held her son Shafiul Alam in her arms, to try and save him from being taken away from in front of her eyes.
Her helpless screams brought a huge crowd together before the Dhaka airport, from where her sons Shafiul and Monirul Alam and Monirul's friend Abul Hayat were picked up by plainclothes men on Wednesday.
The three young men had gone to the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to receive Ramisa and her husband, who just returned from hajj, around 8:00pm.
The plainclothes men, who took Shafiul, 30, Monirul, 28, and Abul, 28, away showed identity cards and claimed to be detectives.
“My tears have dried, as I have no trace of my sons, who were abducted in front of my eyes four days ago,” said Ramisa, 62, while describing the incident at a press conference at the Crime Reporters' Association.
The “detectives” took the three from the airport to Shafiul's mess in Jatrabari. From there, they picked up two more people -- Shafiullah, 22, a Dhaka College student, and Mosharraf Hossain Mayaz, 15, a ninth grader of a local madrasa.
The five have remained missing since then. Police have denied picking them up.
At the press conference, family members of all the five demanded that the authorities either release them or, if they have committed any crime, produce them before a court.
“Do not cook up any story or stage a drama involving our sons. Return them to us,” lamented Ramisa who cannot walk properly because of her knee problem.
“I don't understand how three people were picked up from in front of a secure airport and how they remain missing for days,” said a relative of another boy preferring anonymity.
When asked about the political identities of the five, their family members claimed they did not know if they had any. However, sources in Shafiul's family mentioned that he was a city unit leader of Bangladesh Islami Chhatra Shibir.
Contacted, Masudur Rahman, deputy commissioner (media) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, claimed they did not arrest the boys.
Earlier on September 9, families of 12 students held a press conference at the same venue and alleged that detectives kept their sons confined for five days since September 5.
After initially keeping their detention undisclosed, the next day police admitted that the boys had been arrested by detectives on charges of spreading rumours and attacking police officials during the recent student protests.