Rab intelligence arrested a man from the capital Sunday night on charge of demanding ransom from the families of three youths who had been abducted two months ago and of whom one was later found dead.
Abdur Rahim alias Tunda Rahim, 38, was picked up from Shahbagh area.
After the arrest, Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) officials claimed that the three abductees, including two leaders of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), had been members of a criminal gang and were killed over internal feud.
On November 29 last year, Shamim Hasan Sohel alias Max Sohel, culture and research secretary of Dhaka University’s Surya Sen Hall unit JCD, Ismail Hossain alias Al Amin, JCD president of Ward-50, and Masum Hossain were picked up in a white microbus from Hatirpool area by some unidentified people. Ten days after the incident the body of Ismail was found in Dhaleshwari River in Munshiganj.
Victims’ families alleged that the three youths had been kidnapped by Rab personnel and that Ismail was killed by the law enforcers.
Lt Col Ziaul Ahsan, director of Rab’s intelligence wing, yesterday told The Daily Star that the three abducted were members of a gang led by top listed fugitive Dilip alias Binash, who controls at least eight local criminal groups from Malaysia. These gangs kill people for money.
According to Ziaul Ahsan, all the abductees might have been killed after their disappearance. He, however, could not confirm that. He said the abduction and the “killing of the victims” took place over sharing money, control over the gang, and disloyalty.
Commander M Sohail, Rab’s media and legal wing director, claimed that the youths had been kidnapped by other members of the gang. The criminals used Rab’s identity to mislead law enforcers, he added.
Meanwhile, detained Rahim was produced before the media at Rab headquarters yesterday afternoon. Rahim told journalists that deceased Ismail was a drug peddler while Shamim and Masum were close associates of Dilip.
Replying to a query, Rahim said he had never demanded money from the victims’ families; rather he tried to help find the missing as he was their close friend.
However, Ismail’s maternal uncle Abdul Khalek claimed that Rahim demanded Tk 7 lakh for the release of the abductees, and also took him to Tolarbagh area in the capital to talk to a Rab official over the issue.