The Detective Branch of police arrested Ameer Hossain, the ringleader of the abductors of six-year-old Parag Mondol, along with his close aide from Rajbari on Tuesday night, said sources in Rajbari police.
However, there has been confusion over the arrests as Dhaka Metropolitan Police denied arresting Ameer or his close aide Al-Amin. The Keraniganj police also declined to comment on the arrests.
A DB team raided the house of Khalil Mondol at about 10:30 pm in Goalanda terminal area where Ameer and his right-hand man Al-Amin had been holed up, said the sources.
The DB men arrested the two suspects and seized the motorbike they had used during the kidnapping on November 11.
Sub-inspector Monirul Huq, investigation officer of the case filed in connection with the abduction, accompanied the DB team.
Both the suspects have been brought to Dhaka for questioning.
Sources said the suspects, who had fired shots at Parag's mother, sister and their driver during the abduction, had probably taken shelter in Khalil's house a couple of days ago.
The sources, however, could not say how Khalil was connected with the suspects.
Soon after the police operation, a Rab team raided the area to arrest Ameer but learnt that DB police had already detained him.
Rejecting the news of the arrests, DMP Deputy Commissioner (Media and Public Relations) Masudur Rahman said, "The news of Ameer's arrest is not true."
DB police and Rab had earlier contradicted each other over payment of ransom for freeing the kidnapped boy. Rab had claimed that Parag was freed after paying a ransom of Tk 50 lakh, while police said Parag was freed as they put pressure on the kidnappers' family members.
Doulatdia Union Parishad Chairman Nurul Islam Mondol said he had knowledge that police arrested two youths from Khalil's house at Mondolpara.
Mohammad Abul Basher, officer-in-charge of Goalanda Police Station, told The Daily Star over the phone that both Rab and DB police had sought support from his station on Tuesday night.
"I am not sure whether they arrested anyone from my area. DB police arrived at Goalanda Tuesday evening and left the area early today after a drive."
Confirming the arrests, a top police officer in Rajbari said, "Apart from arresting the two suspects, the law enforcers seized the motorbike they used for kidnapping the minor boy.”
Lt Col Ziaul Ahsan, director of Rab's Legal and Media Wing, said, "On information, one of our teams from Faridpur went to Goalanda to arrest the abductors. But police had already picked up a person named Al Amin before the Rab team reached there."
Armed criminals abducted Parag, son of Bimol Mondol, shooting his mother, sister and their driver near their house in Shubhadda Paschimpara while they were about to board their car for going to school on November 11 morning.
Three days after the abduction, the criminals left the boy at Atibazar in Keraniganj about two kilometres away from his house.
PARAG RETURNS HOME
A week after Parag was freed, he left the capital's Square Hospitals, where he had been undergoing treatment, and returned home yesterday afternoon.
Parag and his mother Lipi Rani Mondol left the hospital under police escort around 2:30pm and returned home by minibus around 3:00pm, said Parag's uncle Pradeep Kumar Dutta.
During the departure, Lipi said, "I am at a loss for words. I thank the media, the prime minister and the people of the country from the core of my heart.”
Parag was admitted to the hospital soon after he was found abandoned by his abductors in the early hours of November 14.
The child was hit in the head by a pistol butt when he was abducted. During his confinement, he was injected with sedatives.
His mother was first admitted to a hospital in the capital with gunshot wounds in the chest and the leg. She was shifted to Square Hospitals a day after Parag was admitted there.
"Police have been deployed at Parag's house for his security and his family's,” said Parag's uncle.
With the media rushing after Parag, hundreds of people thronged his house to take a glace at him.