A North South University teacher has gone missing from the capital on Tuesday afternoon.
Mubashar Hasan, assistant professor at the political science department, came out of the university around 4:30pm. Police said he last talked to someone on his mobile phone at 6:41pm when he had been near Lions Eye Hospital at Agargaon.
His disappearance, the latest in a series of such incidents in the country, has alarmed many people while his family members, colleagues and friends anxiously demand his safe return.
A total of 11 persons, including a journalist and a businessman, had gone missing or got abducted from the capital since August 22. Only two of them had returned.
“Mubashar is a nice man, a very good teacher and an excellent researcher,” said Prof Abdur Rob, dean of the School of Humanities and Social Science at the NSU.
Rob added that he was a reputed researcher, who spoke on misinterpretations of Islam at many seminars at home and abroad. He even addressed a seminar at the police headquarters once.
Mubashar, who also researched about political Islam, graduated from Dhaka University's journalism department. He worked as a journalist for an online news portal in Dhaka for two years before leaving the country for higher studies. He got a masters and a PhD from universities in the UK and Australia. He has a daughter.
Mubashar's father Motahar Hossain said his son left their Banasree home for NSU at 7:00am on Tuesday.
Mubashar told him around 4:00pm over phone that he would return home after finishing some tasks.
The grieving father came out of his two-storey house with his daughter yesterday afternoon and talked to reporters. He requested the law enforcers to find his son.
Motahar, who was a government official, said he called his son around 7:00pm on Tuesday, but found his mobile switched off.
“I kept trying to reach him, but in vain. Then we contacted every possible place where Mubashar could have gone and asked everyone who could give information.”
Motahar lodged a general diary with Khilgaon Police Station around 2:30am yesterday.
Mubashar's younger sister Tamanna Tasmin said, “We are concerned and scared. I appeal to the authority to find my brother.”
She said her brother was “in fear for his life” after a man, claiming to be his student, went to their house on October 25 and asked for him. Mubashar was not home at the time.
Mubashar installed security cameras around their house soon afterwards and had often been talking about his concerns over security, she said.
Moshiure Rahman, officer-in-charge of Khilgaon Police Station, said they have been investigating into the incident.
“We have found that he left home at 7:15am on Tuesday and reached NSU at 8:00am,” he said.
By tracking his phone, police came to know that he had been near IDB Bhaban and Lions Eye Hospital around 6:41pm.
“We are trying to find the person with whom he talked [over phone] before he went missing. We are also checking the CCTV footage from the areas where he had been in order to find out who was with him at that time.”
The officer also added that they were taking his anti-militancy write-ups into consideration while investigating the disappearance.
Journalist Zayadul Ahsan Pintu is among the dozens of people who wrote on Facebook about his disappearance.
Pintu's Facebook status said Mubashar informed him over phone that he was in panic since two boys with “fake identities” wanted to enter his house.
“I told him to install CCTV cameras and he did it. He sought blessings and I told him to stay safe. I informed the matter to the chief of counterterrorism unit.
“He told his family members to inform me if he was in danger. When his younger sister informed me about his disappearance over phone in the morning, I felt helpless. I could not find a clue the whole day.”
Meanwhile, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal yesterday said they will take steps to find him.
“It is not acceptable that law enforcers would sit idle when someone goes missing,” he said after a programme in the capital.
The minister added, “I have always said that there are reasons behind [somebody] going missing. Many go missing willingly while many others go into hiding to embarrass others. It is hard for detectives to solve such incidents.”