Rights body Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) yesterday demanded formation of an independent commission to investigate all incidents of alleged enforced disappearance with transperency and accountability.
“Without denying incidents of enforced disappearance, the state should investigate all such incidents through an independent commission… to establish the rule of law,” it said in a statement.
It also stressed the need for the state's strong role in stopping such acts saying that in a democratic state the culture of impunity cannot continue.
The demands came at a time when at least 10 people, including a university teacher, a book importer, a journalist, businessmen, a student and political leaders went missing or were abducted since August 22.
Signed by ASK Executive Director Sheepa Hafiza, the statement said in most of the cases, it is alleged that the law enforcement agencies or people impersonating security forces picked up the victims. However, the law enforcement agencies always denied the allegations.
“Some of the missing or abducted persons were later shown arrested and sent to court while many of them are still traceless,” said the statement. A few bodies, bearing injury marks, of the missing or abducted people were also recovered, it added.
“Enforced disappearance is still being termed as abduction, disregarding the involvement of the state,” the statement added. “Such a crime is an extreme violation of human rights and considered a transnational crime.”
The state has the responsibility to ensure safety of its citizens and punishing those responsible for enforced disappearances, it further said.
The latest victim of the incident of disappearance is Tanvir Yasin Karim, owner of Karim International and Darus Salam Publications. He was picked up by plainclothes men on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, North South University teacher Mubashar Hasan went missing on November 7 and journalist Utpal Das has remained untraced since October 10.
Mithun Chowdhury, president of newly-formed Bangladesh Janata Party, and his associate Ashit Ghosh were picked up allegedly by law enforcers in the capital's Sutrapur area on October 27.
Those who went missing or were abducted in just four days in August are -- businessman Aniruddha Kumar Roy, Mcgill University student Ishrak Ahmed Fahim, Bangladesh Kalyan Party Secretary General MM Aminur Rahman and BNP leader Syed Sadat Ahmed, also a businessman.
According to ASK, 334 of the 524 people, who allegedly became victims of enforced disappearance between 2010 and October 2017 across the country, are still missing.
'FIND UTPAL WITHIN 72 HOURS'
With no trace of journalist Utpal Das for over a month, journalist leaders yesterday demanded that the home minister order the law enforcers to find Utpal within 72 hours.
They submitted a memorandum to the minister's personal secretary Harun Ur Rashid in this regard.
Utpal Das, 27, a senior reporter of news portal purboposhchimbd.news, and also office and publicity secretary of Narsingdi Journalist Association, has been missing since October 10 when he was on his way to office in Motijheel.
Organised by Narsingdi Journalist Association, journalists of Dhaka Union of Journalists, Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists and Dhaka Reporters Unity also held a rally in front of the capital's Jatiya Press Club around noon.
Later they brought out a silent procession towards the secretariat, where their representatives handed over the memorandum, said a press release.