Published:  03:17 AM, 23 March 2020 Last Update: 04:10 AM, 23 March 2020

'Reveal whereabouts of missing journo Kajol right now'

'Reveal whereabouts of missing journo Kajol right now' Saad Hammadi, AI Iftekharuzzaman, TIB Quddus Afrad, DUJ

The Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) and Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) on Sunday expressed resentment over the 'no whereabouts' of missing photojournalist Shafiqul Islam Kajol.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International on Twitter on Saturday released a security camera video that shows Kajol was being followed before his disappearance.

In the video, some unidentified men are also seen tampering with his motorcycle outside his office."CCTV footage reveals Bangladeshi journalist Shafiqul Islam Kajol being followed, his motorbike tampered, before what is feared to be an enforced disappearance," the UK-based human rights group said in the tweet.

"We urge the authorities to immediately disclose his whereabouts and release him if under state custody," it added, according to a report of an online newspaper in Dhaka.

Saad Hammadi, the South Asia campaigner for Amnesty, said it had obtained the video through its own efforts. The mystery surrounding Kajol's disappearance will be solved if the three men with suspicious behavior in the video can be identified, Hammadi told the media outlet.

Quddus Afrad, the newly elected president of Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ), told the Asian Age that working journalists and leaders had staged demonstrations at the Jatiya Press Club premises demanding to know the whereabouts of missing photojournalist Kajol immediately.

"Not only that. We met and pursued the home minister several times, appealing to him about an immediate disclosure of the whereabouts of Kajol. Despite that we didn't get any result. We are disappointed and aggrieved," he said."We have seen that law enforcement agency men can find those who spread rumors about deaths from Corona Virus (COVID19) very fast. I am hopeful that they will find Kajol soon too," he added.

TIB Executive Director Dr. Iftekharuzzaman said that it was yet another example of growing national and international concerns about the state of fundamental rights, rule of law and justice in the country. It shows how suppression of freedom of the media is taking place under the draconian Digital Security Act on the pretext of defamation.

"Secondly, it shows how enforced disappearance has become almost normal, ominously enough, allegedly with the direct or indirect involvement of the law enforcement agencies.""Thirdly, this is a glaring example of a lack of justice for the victim of the heinous crime and denial of the family's right to know the whereabouts of their dear one."

No words are enough to sufficiently describe the frustrations caused to society, he added.Meanwhile, Chawkbazar Police Station OC Moudut Ahmed said police were yet to get the footage. They will collect it and take necessary steps, he said.

Kajol's family filed a general diary at the police station on March 12 as they were unable   to reach him after he left home at Bakshibazar on March 10.Kajol, who had previously worked as a photojournalist at Dainik Samakal and Banik Barta, is currently the editor of the fortnightly magazine 'Pakkhakal.'

He has been accused in a case filed against 32 people over a report published on the people 'involved' with disgraced ruling party operative Shamima Noor Papia's alleged escort services based in The Westin Dhaka.On Mar 9, the case was started with Sher-e-Bangla Nagar Police under the Digital Security Act.

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