BNP Organising Secretary (Sylhet Division) M Ilias Ali went missing Tuesday night.
Banani police found his car abandoned in front of a park in Banani near his house around 12:00 midnight. But neither Ali nor his driver, Ansar (full name could not be learnt immediately) could be traced till Wednesday afternoon.
Khandker Lutful Kabir, deputy commissioner of Gulshan Division, told The Daily Star that police found the private car near the park with all the doors wide open.
Banglanews, the same news website that first broke this news, reports that 7 BNP MPs are now in RAB-1 Headquarter, claiming that Ali is being held by RAB.
Why would the government go after Ali, the former member of Parliament from Sylhet-2? Giltimia explains:
Ilias Ali is a huge force: the anchor of all BNP activities in North-East Bangladesh. Awami League supporters often bemoan how, in Sylhet, the whole AL-led government and AL organizations are helpless in front of Ilias Ali. It became more glaring when Khaleda’s Sylhet rally becomes the largest in Sylhet history and Hasina’s rally could not pull one-tenth of that crowd.
Ilias ali was a key JCD leader in the 1980s — in the same league as Niru-Bablu-Ovi et al. I think he and Amanullah Aman are the only ones from that generation to have made the transition to national parliamentary politics. In private, Sylhet AL-ers would agree that Ilias Ali was a strong anti-Jamaat / pro-71 voice in anti-AL politics. In private, they would also agree that he was an important counterbalance to Hawa Bhaban cronies like Haris Chowdhury.
Just after Suranjit Sengupta, a minister from Sylhet, is embroiled in arguably the most blatant corruption scandal in Bangladeshi history, the most resourceful opposition politician from Sylhet disappears. Coincidence, or joincidence?
Update: BNP has now announced a strike on Sunday, April 22, in protest.