Noor Islam’s Horrors of cave days

Brac official Noor Islam, who had been abducted while working in Afghanistan three months back and released on December 7, returned home yesterday and told of horrifying experience of living in dark and fear in a cave.

“Most of the times my eyes were tied with a piece of cloth tightly and I was kept in a place which seemed to be a cave,” Noor told journalists upon his arrival at the Zia International Airport by a flight of Emirates at 10:40am.

Noor’s abductors released him on the night of December 7 and he returned home under an arrangement of the Brac Head Office in Dhaka.

Brac Director Ahmed Nazmul Hossain, Communications and Public Affairs Director M Anwarul Haq and Programme Coordinator Jalal Ahmed received him.

Noor Islam, 37, went to Afghanistan on December 7, 2004 and worked with Brac in a province until his abduction on September 15 this year.

Noor said he went to office around 10:00am on September 15 when their manager and accountant were out supervising field level activities. Then there were knocks on the door.

“As soon as I opened the door, I saw six armed men, four in police uniform. In local language they asked me to go out with them,” Noor said.

The armed men immediately tied Noor’s eyes and picked him up in a car and took to an unknown place. He would eat whatever the abductors gave him, mainly bread thrice a day.

Noor said, “I always prayed to Allah…I did not understand why they abducted me.”

After around three months, Noor heard them mention the word “khalash” in their conversations. At first, he could not catch the meaning of the word. But later, when they mentioned Bangladesh, he thought it was about his release.

“They then shifted me to a different place with my eyes tied and left me alone,” Noor said, adding that Afghan security personnel rescued him from there and gave him food and shelter that night.

“I was then handed over to Brac Country Director in Afghanistan Gunendra Roy. I stayed at his residence for a few days,” he said.

Noor thanked the media, saying, “Reporting in newspapers on my abduction has helped a lot for my release.”


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