Interpol’s Bangladesh unit asks India to arrest ex-minister

By Raymond Kharmujai,

Shillong : Interpol’s Dhaka unit has asked its Indian counterpart to arrest Salahuddin Ahmed, a former Bangladesh minister and joint secretary general and spokesman of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), who was arrested here in Meghalaya on charges of illegally entering India, police said on Wednesday.

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“We received a red alert notice from Dhaka Interpol yesterday (Tuesday) requesting us to arrest Salahuddin Ahmed. We have informed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in New Delhi about their request,” Meghalaya Police chief Rajiv Mehta told IANS.

The Bangladesh Interpol had sent the request to its Indian counterpart after Ahmed’s wife Hasina told journalists in Dhaka on Tuesday that she received a phone call from her husband that he was in a hospital in Shillong.

Meghalaya Police had on Monday morning arrested an individual, who later identified himself as Salahuddin Ahmed, after locals alerted police about some “suspicious movement” by a man in and around that area.

Ahmed, however, had no document in his possession to prove his identity and citizenship.

“So far, we have not been able to interrogate this individual as he is undergoing treatment in Shillong Civil Hospital. We have no clue of who this man is. Until he is discharged from the hospital, it is difficult for us to make any comment,” Mehta said.

Meanwhile, doctors treating the BNP leader in the Shillong Civil Hospital said Ahmed was “physically and mentally fit” but they were conducting several medical tests to verify his health status.

“Most of the medical tests have been conducted based on the medical complaints and past health history of Ahmed. We are still awaiting the medical test reports,” Shillong Civil Hospital cardiologist D.J. Goswami told IANS.

However, Goswami said Ahmed would be discharged from hospital only after the hospital authorities were satisfied with the test reports and that the person was physically and mentally fit.

Ahmed, who identified himself as a leader of the Khaleda Zia-led BNP, had claimed on Monday that he was kidnapped by unidentified people from Uttara area in Dhaka on the night of March 10.

The police officials who interrogated him found that he was not speaking comprehensibly. He was referred to the Meghalaya Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (MIMHANS), but found to be mentally sound.

Ahmed was later admitted to the under trial prisoner cell at the Shillong Civil Hospital.