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City court releases former Bangladesh MP Salahuddin

2018 acquittal of judicial magistrate upheld

Shillong, March 1: The court of the additional deputy commissioner here on Tuesday upheld the 2018 order of acquittal of Bangladesh politician Salahuddin Ahmed by the first class judicial magistrate.

Salahuddin, a former minister, associated with Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), was arrested in Shillong in May 2015 for entering Meghalaya illegally without any valid papers but his version is that he was kidnapped and the abductors blindfolded him and dumped in Golf Links, Polo.

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Earlier, he went missing in March that year only to be found in Shillong after two months indicating that he was in the custody of the kidnappers.

He said that at that point of time, there was a movement against the government.

“Being the secretary general of the party, my responsibility was to send press releases. Forced disappearances, extra-judicial¬† killings and persecutions were order of the day . Some law enforcers in plain clothes, arrested me, abducted and kept me in a place for two months and after that they blindfolded and carried me and dropped me in Shillong”, he narrated the incident on Wednesday.

To a question, he said he is ready to face any problem in his country when he returns.

“I want to return and even if there are problems for my safety, I am ready to face them and even if I am put in jail there is no problem as I want to die in my own soil”, he said, while ruling out seeking any political asylum.

With the fresh order, the 62-year-old Salahuddin, who has been languishing here for the last 8 years, is set to be released.

After the order, a relaxed Salahuddin distributed sweets to a few well wishers in a city guest house where he has been staying after he secured bail.

His trial went on till he was acquitted in 2018 but the state government challenged the order leading to further delay of his release.

The second aquittal order of the court came as a relief to Salahuddin as he felt that the life here was like being in exile.

His wife Hasina Ahmed is with him in Shillong.

In 1991, when BNP took over the administration, Salahuddin had served as the assistant personal secretary to the then Prime Minister Khaleda Zia.

From 2001 ro 2006 representing from Cox’s Bazar-1, he had served as minister of communication under Khaleda Zia who returned to power.

After securing legal degrees, Salahuddin had served as a magistrate and later joined the BNP.

He had served as the spokesperson of the party and currently he is a member of the standing committee of the party.

Photo caption: Salahuddin Ahmed in Shillong on Wednesday (MM)

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