Journalist Golam Sarwar was severely beaten by five miscreants allegedly in a dark room for four days in a row in Chattogram.
Sarwar, a staff reporter of weekly Ajker Surjodoy, was found unconscious next to a canal near Kumira Bazar area at Sitakunda Chattogram on Sunday night, four days after he went missing. Local people rescued and rushed him to the Chattogram Medical College Hospital where he is now undergoing treatment.
During a visit at the hospital on Monday, this correspondent saw numerous marks of beating on different parts of Sarwar's body. The journalist sustained severe injuries on head and legs due to the torture.
The 36-year old reporter told The Business Standard that he was confined in a dark room and five people used to torture him time and again during his confinement.
"Unable to bear the torture, I fainted again and again. Whenever I regained consciousness, they used to beat me again. While beating, they used to say if I would write reports anymore," he said, adding two of the miscreants talked in Chattogram dialect and the other three talked in standard Bengali language.
Recently, Sarwar wrote two reports, one on casino business in Chattogram and the other on land grabbing by a minister's brother. "Those two reports paved the way to his abduction," suspected some of his colleagues who wished anonymity.
Meanwhile, since Sunday night, a video clip emerged and went viral on social media where Sarwar, after regaining consciousness, is seen repeatedly saying, "Please let me go. I will not write news anymore! I will quit journalism."
He went missing since he left his Battery Lane residence in the port city on Thursday. His family said they could not trace him since then and his phone was also found switched off.
Lying on the hospital bed, he portrayed the horrific torture and said, "I repeatedly requested the torturers to release me on condition of giving up journalism for good; but they did not listen. They just kept beating me tirelessly and mercilessly."
Sarwar, also the executive editor of an online news portal ctnewsbd, said, "I was going my village home in Chandanaish from port city's Kazir Dewri area on Wednesday night. A kidnapper grabbed me from behind when I was about to ride on a rented motorcycle. A few more miscreants also came forward within a moment and shoved me into an ambulance. Without any delay, they made me unconscious."
"When I regained consciousness, I found myself in a dark room with my hands and feet tied. Five masked men used to beat me daily in that room for long four days.
"I was given only bread to eat and water to drink. They put cotton in my ears, so that I cannot hear the sounds around me. However, I heard the sound of train sometimes from the room.
"While torturing, the kidnappers mocked that as I was a journalist with almost no fame, my life had no security. Why did I write such report, they asked me," said Sarwar, adding the miscreants also boasted they would go unpunished and roam freely even if they kill any other journalist like Sarwar.