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Salahuddin Ahmed reunited with wife in Shillong

Hasina Ahmed, the wife of BNP joint secretary general Salahuddin Ahmed, has been reunited with her husband who went missing March 10 and reappeared across the border in India on May 11.

After the meeting with her husband in a hospital in Shillong, in the Indian state of Meghalaya, Hasina told journalists that she wanted to take Salahuddin to a third country for medical treatment.

The thirty minute meeting between man and wife, following the BNP leader’s mysterious disappearance over two months ago, was described as an emotional reunion.

Half of the half-hour meeting was spent crying, Abdul Latif Jony, assistant office secretary of the BNP, told the Dhaka Tribune.

After shedding tears during the reunion with his wife, Salahuddin Ahmed asked how the members of his family were and inquired about BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, Abdul Latif Jony said.  

Hasina Ahmed was meeting her husband for the first time since Salahuddin went missing. She entered the hospital around 8:30pm and stayed till 9pm. She had left Dhaka on Sunday.

“I am very grateful to the Indian government, the local administration and hospital authorities for sheltering Salahuddin and giving him medical treatment. My husband is seriously ill. We will try to take him to a third country for further treatment, following whatever legal process is required of us,” she said.

Asked whether legal issues were discussed with Salahuddin, Hasina said: “Because he is ill, he could not speak very much. I will come tomorrow morning and talk to him about these things.
“I will try to bring a lawyer with me.”

Salahuddin is being held at the under-trial prisoner’s cell at Shillong Civil Hospital, in India’s Meghalaya state, on charges of entering India without valid documents.

Salahuddin Ahmed earlier told journalists he wanted to return to Bangladesh soon. His party, the BNP, has sought government cooperation to bring him back to Bangladesh and to send him abroad for medical treatment.

According to Indian media reports, Salahuddin has not yet appeared in court because doctors do not think he is fit enough to do so.

Salahuddin told local journalists he was forcibly taken to Shillong – hands tied and blindfolded –  before being dropped off in the Meghalaya capital. He was speaking to journalists on the way to having a CT scan taken.

“I am still alive,” Salahuddin said to journalists as he entered the main building of the Shillong Civil Hospital.

The erstwhile BNP spokesman described to reporters how he came to be in their city: “I told police … My hands were tied and I was blindfolded. It was a long journey. It seemed like 12 to 14 hours, with a two-hour stop. I was dumped at Shillong Golf Club. And then I asked local people to call the police.”

When asked whether he had surrendered to police, Salahuddin said: “Local people called the police at my request. After telling them my story, they thought I was a mental patient.”

“Interpol has issued a red alert against me. The government did not do the right thing. I am not a convict, I am not absconding. Why they did it, I do not know. I want to return to Bangladesh,” Salahuddin said.

BNP spokesperson Asaduzzaman Ripon told journalists: “He [Salahuddin] is ill. We want the government’s cooperation to bring Salahuddin back to the country and to send him abroad for further medical treatment.”

Asked whether Salahuddin was receiving government cooperation, Ripon said: “Salahuddin was found in India without a passport; we are yet to apply for one.”