BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Saturday said family members of the victims of enforced disappearance, including Ilias Ali, are facing severe strife in absence of their near and dear ones.
Talking to reporters after visiting the house of missing BNP leader Ilias Ali in the city’s Banani area, he also alleged that the government has not taken any initiative to trace the victims of enforced disappearance because of its own involvement in these incidents.
“The situation would have been different had the government taken any initiative to find the people who were subjected to enforced disappearance. But no such effort of the government was seen since it is involved (in these incidents),” Fakhrul said.
He said people saw that law enforcers had picked up BNP leader Ilias Ali and his driver from Banani area a decade ago in the capital. “It’s very clear that this incident happened through this government. As the government has no step to find out the victims of enforced disappearance, their families are being deprived of all facilities and facing serious ordeals.”
Fakhrul along with BNP joint secretary general Sayed Moazzem Hossain Alal went to Ilias’ house at noon and talked to his wife Tahsina Rushdi Luna and other family members. He also presented them with Eid gifts on behalf of BNP Acting Chairman Tarique Rahman.
Referring to his conversation with Luna, he said Ilias Ali's family has been in great danger. “His (Ilias’) wife told me that they could not access his (Ilias Ali's) bank account. They couldn't even pay tax on his car. These things have caused a great deal of pain to the family."
The BNP leader said Ilias’ family had to face a lot of problems regarding their daughter's college admission as some colleges were not allowing her to take admission. “Not only Ilias Ali’s family, but all the families of the victims of enforced disappearance are going through such strife."
He said their party has been trying to stand by the families of its members, activists and leaders who were 'made disappeared' - popular in the local parlance as 'goom' - by providing them with gifts and financial assistance on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr.
BNP organising secretary M Ilias Ali along with his driver Ansar Ali went missing on the midnight of April 17, 2012 from the capital’s Banani area. Since then, BNP has been blaming the security agencies for the mysterious disappearance, an allegation denied by the government.
Fakhrul alleged that Awami League wants to stay in power by intimidating people and resorting to enforced disappearances.
He said the culture of disappearance never existed in the politics of Bangladesh until the current Awami League government came to power. “Authoritarian and usurper regimes had not done it in the past. We saw for the first time in Bangladesh that political opponents were made to disappear during the rule of the current regime.”
Stating that two people were recently killed in crossfire by RAB, the BNP leader said such killing and violation of human rights by the elite force will continue to happen as long as legal action is not taken against those who were involved in the misdeeds.
Fakhrul said the government is unable to take any action against the law enforcers since it has used them for carrying out 'enforced disappearances’, 'killings' and 'torture' to cling to power. “They (govt) have been held hostage by law enforcement agencies."
Criticising the government for seeking India’s help to have the sanctions on RAB lifted, he said it has exposed that the government is bankrupt since it is requesting the neighbouring country to overcome a national problem.