Link of the Original Article: A list riddled with holes
Nineteen are traceless, five named twice, three alive. Six died in Narayanganj violence and one of heart attack. Slot number 10 is left vacant.
These are the holes a police investigation has found in the rights body “Odhikar’s list of 61 people killed in the crackdown on Hefajat at Motijheel Shapla Chattar in the early hours of May 6.”
The remaining 26 were not killed in the operation either.
Police say they got the list in the documents seized from the Odhikar office and later released it to the media.
The Daily Star has conducted a quick investigation into some police claims and about 25 persons listed as dead.
According to police, Zahidul Islam Saurav of Nimai Kachari under Bagmara upazila of Rajshahi, Jasim Uddin of Comilla and Sohel, a student of Ujani Madrassa in Chandpur, are alive.
But our correspondents found no trace of Saurav and Jasim. There is no village called Nimai Kachari in Bagmara and neither law enforcers nor Hefajat leaders in Comilla could say anything about Jasim.
Asked about Sohel, Nazem Asgar Rahman, teacher of the madrasa, said yesterday, “There are five students named Sohel at the madrasa. None of them went to Hefajat rally and none of them is dead.”
Odhikar denied having anyone called Sohel on its list and said it would soon organise a press briefing to explain the whole matter. The organisation claimed the list the media got was not the one it had prepared, Prothom Alo online reported on Friday.
The Daily Star has gathered that Sekendar Ali of Katla village under Adamdighi upazila of Bogra, listed as dead, is still missing.
“Sekendar was at a mosque near Shapla Chattar during the police crackdown. He went missing after Fajr prayers early May 6. We searched for him in many places in Dhaka. We are still looking for him,” his brother Azhar Ali told this correspondent on Friday.
Police say nothing about it.
Another listed person, Mutiur Rahman of Ukhiyaguna village under Ramu, got on the Chittagong-bound Mahanagar Gadhuli train after attending the Hefajat rally on May 5.
Around 8:30pm, as the train reached Comilla Railway Station area, he and other Hefajat supporters got locked into a clash with some Chhatra League activists inside their compartment. Injured, he died at Comilla Medical College Hospital in the morning.
The list also includes Ataur Rahman and Lutfor Rahman, both with the address: Sutipara village of Phulpur in Mymensingh.
Ataur died in police shooting in Paltan area round 5:30pm on May 5, his uncle Motiur Rahman said on Friday. “One of his aides kept the body in a dark place near Islami Bank Hospital. We collected the body at night and brought it to village in the morning.”
However, nothing could be known about Lutfor in Sutipara village. Relatives of Ataur too don’t know of any Lutfor.
According to the newspaper’s findings, some of those named in the list had died in daytime clashes. Hanif Paribahan driver Siddiqur Rahman, Abdul Wahab Molla and Ibrahim Khalil were among the victims.
Odhikar’s list contains names of Shahadat and Anwar who died fighting with police near Hathazari madrasa in Chittagong, and also of Palash, killed in Narayanganj on May 6.
Contacted, Hefajat’s Publicity Secretary Harun Izhar admitted anomalies in the list. “Hefajat did not give the complete list to Odhikar officially. What Odhikar got was a partial list. Some of our responsible leaders gave it to the Odhikar officials. The list seems to be misleading,” he told one of our correspondents in the Chittagong office.
He also admitted that the list had repetitions and included the names of those killed in the clash with police at Hathazari upazila in Chittagong. “As it is not our official list, we will not take responsibility for it.”
Harun said Hefajat had the complete list but they would not publish it at this moment given the present “adverse situation”. “We will publish it at a favourable time.”
He added, “We are including one more point to our 13-point demand and that is the trial of the killers of Hefajat activists during the crackdown.”
Several thousand activists of Qawmi madrasa-based organisation Hefajat-e Islam, instigated and bolstered by Jamaat-Shibir members, ran riot, setting fire to shops and police outposts in the capital as the evening fell on May 5.
Hefajat had promised to hold a non-violent rally at Shapla Chattar on the day to press its 13-point demand, including introduction of a blasphemy law.