Assailants have kidnapped businessman Abu Bakar Siddiqui from Narayanganj in broad daylight on Wednesday.
He is the husband of Rizwana Hasan, executive director of the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA) and winner of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay award.
Siddiqui, 47, was heading to Dhaka from his garment factory in Fatulla, when a blue microbus rammed into his vehicle at Jolkuri at around 3pm, said Syed Ahmed Sourav, a lawyer with BELA.“Both Siddiqui and his driver ‘Ripon’ got down to see the damage when several unidentified people jumped off the microbus. They hit Ripon on his head with a pistol and smeared pepper over his eyes,” he said.
Ripon claimed to have seen around eight attackers, Iqbal Kabir, another lawyer with BELA, told journalists.
“They forced Siddiqui into their microbus and sped off towards Dhaka.” Kabir said they rushed to the spot after Ripon informed them of the attack.
Siddiqui’s wife, Rizwana Hasan is vocal against damages caused to the environment. The motive behind her husband’s abduction is yet to be known. BELA says the state minister for home, inspector general of police and the director general of RAB have been informed.
Award-winning environmental lawyer Rizwana Hasan claims people she annoyed with her activism were behind the abduction of her husband AB Siddiqui.
Armed assailants waylaid Siddique’s car at Narayanganj’s Bhuigarh and took him away in a van around 3pm Wednesday.
Born and raised in Narayanganj, Siddique was returning from a garment factory at Fatulla.
“Businesses like Bashundhara, Modhumoti, Ashiyan as well as the Ship Breakers Association are very angry because of my work,” said Hasan, the executive director of Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA).
“Maybe it was them who kidnapped my husband,” she told reporters at Bhuigarh on the Dhaka-Narayanganj link road, the scene from where her husband was abducted.
Policemen were also present there.
“He doesn’t have enemies. We also don’t have a lot of money that they would detain him for ransom.”
She also said her husband’s two cell phones were left behind in the car.
Hasan, a winner of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2012, is vocal against environmental damages.
She has been fighting several legal battles for the sake of the environment in Bangladesh.
Her husband was executive director of Fatulla’s Hamid Fashions, owned by State Minister for Power Nasrul Hamid Bipu.
The factory lay shut for several years after a labour unrest led by Jatiya Sramik League’s Fatulla unit president Kausar Ahmed Palash.
He began working in the factory in February. Earlier, he worked for Narayanganj businessman and former FBCCI Vice President Mohammad Ali. Ali was a Jatiya Party MP in the 1980s.
“Please raid the torture cells in Narayanganj, maybe you’ll find him there!” Hasan pleaded with Syed Nurul Islam, Narayanganj’s Superintendant of Police (SP), who was there with her at the place of Siddique’s abduction.
Islam said: “But RAB have already closed them.”
“I want my husband back safe and sound,’ she said.
RAB recently shut down notorious ‘torture cells’ by Ajmeri Osman, the son of Narayanganj MP Nasim Osman.
Ajmeri is accused of the abduction and murder of civil movement activist Rafiur Rabbi’s teenage son Tanvir Muhammad Twaki.
Awami League leader AKM Shamim Osman, brother of Jatiya Party’s Nasim Osman, is the MP from Fatulla. – bdnews24.com