Saiful Islam, the father of the missing student Nihal, said that a man named Safiqul Islam called him from the Chandpur Hotel and Restaurant, which is adjacent to the railway station in Chandpur city.
“The man, who introduced himself as the manager, said that my son and his friends were taken to the hotel by the police. Let us go and fetch them.”
Saiful said that at that time he also spoke to Niloy from the manager’s phone. Niloy forbids him to go to that hotel and says that he will leave to return immediately. But they never returned.
When asked about this, Chandpur Hotel and Restaurant Manager Safiqul Islam said that on August 23, between 2:15 and 2:00 am, SI Khairul Islam of Sadar police station’s new market police station went to the hotel with five youths.
“Khairul then said, they came from home with pride. Let us call their parents and let them know so that they can come and take them in the morning.”
When the shift ends at 6 am the next day, Safiqul told another manager Hedayet Ullah to explain the responsibility.
He said, “Later I heard, shortly after I left, those young people told Hedayet Ullah that our guardian has arrived, that’s why I’m leaving. Hedayet Ullah thought that their protector had really come. That’s why he asked them to leave. Later, people from various forces came and interrogated us.”
Safiqul said, “We run the hotel. If the police had taken him to the police station instead of the hotel, then this problem would not have happened. We don’t know if the boys are good or bad.”
When asked what happened that night, SI Khairul Islam said, “We were going on an expedition along with our outpost in-charge Mintu Dutt sir. Then I saw these boys sitting in front of Chandpur Kalibari with their bags.
“Sir, if you want to know, someone says the house is Comilla; Some say the house is covered. Came to a friend’s house, now there is no car so I am sitting. Then we took those young people to the hotel and went on the expedition. Let’s call the parents in the morning to let them go.”
Niruddesh Al-Amin’s father Nurul Islam and Lakshad’s father Md. Mujibur Rahman said that they recognized Nihal and Niloy after seeing the CCTV footage of the hotel, but could not recognize the rest. Because of that, they think, the list of young people who are being rejected could be longer.
When attention was drawn to this matter, OC Muhammad Sahidur Rahman of Kotwali Model Police Station in Comilla said, “The matter is under investigation. All matters will be clear only after investigation.”
Meeting with parents
The Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime Unit of the police also took action on the information that the youth left the house under the influence of the banned militant organization.
A team of that unit went to Comilla on Wednesday. The parents of the youth were called to the office of the District Superintendent of Police. There they held a meeting with parents from 11 am to 3 pm.
Al-Amin’s father is a resident of Jhowtla area of Comilla city. Nurul Islam said, “They heard the details of the incident from us. Everyone spoke one by one. We have told you everything we know.
“I said, Al Amin is my eldest son. He has been to Tabligh Chilla many times before. Apart from studies, I devote time to my business in Kandirpara. The son’s behavior never seemed to involve him in militancy-like incidents.”
Imran bin Rahman’s father. Mujibur Rahman is the managing director of a private organization in Comilla Police Lines area.
He said, “The police officers from Dhaka had a long meeting with us. I have told you everything I know about the boy. My son does not go anywhere except for studies, colleges, coaching centers and mosques.”
According to Mujibur Rahman, on August 23 at noon, his son told him that he would be late to return home as he would go from coaching to the railway station mosque to listen to the sermon.
“But he did not go to coaching that day. I have sought their (Counter Terrorism Unit) cooperation to get the boy back.”
Mujibur said, “My son gets scared even when he sees a chicken being slaughtered. How will he join militancy! If so, my son was taken by them for training. It seems suspicious to us that the boy named Niloy came from Dhaka for lying. He may be behind this incident.”