On Monday evening, the BGB’s Teknaf Battalion chief said Myanmar’s Border Guard Police had agreed to return Nayek Abdur Razzak but tagged a condition for the release, reported bdnews24.com on 23 June.
The Myanmar border police demanded Bangladesh take in 555 victims of human trafficking, who the country claimed were Bangladeshis, without checking on their nationality.
They are part of the 727 rescued by the Myanmar Navy from the Andaman Sea.
However, the BGB headquarters clarified later that night that Myanmar’s decision to return the BGB man was ‘unconditional’.
They said BGB Director General Major General Aziz Ahmed, who is currently abroad, had a talk with the deputy attaché of the Myanmar embassy in Dhaka.
The envoy said he had discussions with his country’s home ministry and the Myanmar authorities had agreed to unconditionally return the BGB trooper with his weapon.
Razzak was abducted following what the Bangladesh government says was a shooting in the Naf River at Cox’s Bazar’s Teknaf on 17 Jun between border patrols.
A BGB soldier was shot in the incident caused by a “misunderstanding”, while Nayek ‘Razzak’ was abducted by Myanmar’s BGP.
The foreign ministry summoned Myanmar’s envoy in Dhaka the next day and asked him for action to secure the release of the abducted BGB soldier without delay.
State Minister for Home Assaduzzaman Khan Kamal told journalists they were trying to negotiate his return through BGB-BGP flag meetings.
BGB Teknaf Battalion’s Commander Lt Col Abu Jar Al Jahid told bdnews24.com they had three meetings with the BGP who agreed to conditionally return Razzak.
However, the Bangladesh government is unwilling to take in anyone without verifying their identities first.
Even after verification, Rohingyas, or Muslims from the Rakhine state who are being persecuted in Myanmar, were found in the last group of trafficking victims brought in last week.
The BGB commander said, “Razzak and the rescued migrants are two completely different issues. Verifying whether they are Bangladeshis or how many are truly Bangladeshi is a long process.
“We have asked for fast return of Razzak. And we told them we will inform them about resolution of the migrant return issue after verification and scrutiny.”
No information on the condition of Razzak is known but two photographs uploaded on the BGP’s Facebook page showed him bloodied and handcuffed.
Razzak’s family in Natore are worried about his state after seeing the photographs. His wife gave birth to their third child on Monday.
The government has also come under fire for not being ‘able to ensure’ his speedy return.