Missing Bangladesh opposition spokesman found in India
The chief spokesman of Bangladesh’s main opposition party who went missing in early March was found Tuesday in a hospital in northeastern India, his wife said.
Salahuddin Ahmed’s disappearance at the height of deadly anti-government protests drew widespread concern following similar disappearances of opposition activists in the past two years.
“He has been found at a hospital in Meghalaya. The hospital authorities called me just a moment ago and then I spoke to my husband,” Hasina Ahmed told AFP.
She could not describe the circumstances that led to Ahmed’s disappearance from a hideout in Dhaka and of his re-emergence at the Indian hospital, close to the Bangladeshi border.
There was no comment from the government or police.
Ahmed, a former junior minister, took over as the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief spokesman after two other senior members were detained in January at the start of a campaign of anti-government protests.
Hasina Ahmed told AFP her husband was picked up from a hideout in the northern suburb of Dhaka by a member of the country’s elite security force. But police and the government denied that he was in their custody.
From the hideout, Ahmed issued a series of hard-hitting anti-government statements, urging people to join the months-long transport blockade — called by BNP leader Khaleda Zia — aimed at toppling the government.
Zia, who is a two-time former prime minister, has accused the security agencies of keeping Ahmed in their custody and demanded his immediate release.
Bangladesh has been plagued by unrest for the last two years and has a long history of deadly political violence.
Scores of people have been killed in firebomb attacks on vehicles since Zia called the blockade.
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