On June 25, Friday elected Councillor Dhaka City Corporation and opposition leader, Mr Chowdhury Alam was arrested by the police. Per newspaper report, law enforcement men picked him up on his way home from opposition party office. Since then he is totally untraceable. Nobody, neither Mr Alam’s family members nor his lawyer/ colleague at Dhaka City Corporation have any knowledge of his whereabouts.
Mr Alam’s family members were in a press conference today along with the elected mayor of Dhaka City corporation. In the press conference, the family expressed their worry about the worst. Over the last year, law enforcement agency members of this government were alleged to have committed many premeditated murders. Bodies of people taken away by law enforcement men are being found buried underground, dumped into marshes etc.
When an arrest is made by the government, by law, the person being arrested needs to be produced before court within certain time. And law enforcement agencies ought to keep family informed of the whereabouts of the person being arrested. Nothing happened in Mr Alam’s case. His family has no clue where Mr. Alam was taken and why he is being detained. No agency in the government is accepting the responsibility of this arrest. It is very unclear what happened to Mr Alam. But it is very destabilizing to see such a powerful government with such an overwhelming parliamentary majority resort to undemocratic means of kidnapping opposition elected representatives and detaining them in undisclosed locations. We certainly hope Mr. Alam did not have to face the consequences his family is most worried about.
Interestingly, the Mayor of Dhaka city raised the concern in a press conference in the afternoon. And late in the evening around 830 PM, several hours after government office closure, the government controlled Anti Corruption Commission came up with a corruption case against the Mayor.
Unfortunately this is only the 18th month for the current ruling party’s ascension to power.