SHILLONG: Salahuddin Ahmed, a former Bangladesh minister and spokesman of the opposition BNP who was arrested in Shillong, was discharged today from hospital but taken into police custody.
“Ahmed was with us for his heart and kidney ailments, and today (Tuesday) he was discharged from the hospital after his health condition was evaluated,” A.G. Ahangar, director of the North East Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Science (NEIGRIHMS) hospital, said.
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leader was in hospital since he was arrested on May 11 from Golf Link area on charges of illegally entering India.
He was admitted to the Meghalaya Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (MIMHANS) and later shifted to the Shillong Civil hospital.
The civil hospital’s cardiologist D.J. Goswami later referred Ahmed to NEIGRIHMS, a government-owned super-specialty hospital after a kidney test report was found to be unsatisfactory.
Ahmed, the communications minister and parliamentarian during the government of BNP leader Khaleda Zia from 2001 to 2006, was arrested after people alerted the authorities about some suspicious movements by a man in and around that area.
Ahmed – the joint secretary general and spokesman of the BNP – claimed that he was kidnapped by unidentified people from Uttara area in Dhaka on the night of March 10. He said he does not remember how he came to Meghalaya.
Meghalaya Police on Tuesday took Ahmed into custody after he was discharged from the hospital.
Police have registered a case against him under the Foreigners Act on charges of illegally entering India after he failed to produce his travel documents. He also did not have any papers to prove his identity and citizenship.
“Ahmed is in police custody now after hospital authorities discharged him. He will be interrogated at the Sadar police station,” East Khasi Hills district police chief Mariahom Kharkrang said.
Kharkrang said Ahmed will be produced in court on Wednesday.
Last week, Ahmed’s counsel S.P. Mahanta submitted a petition in a lower court seeking bail in the case filed against him for illegally entering India.
Mahanta said Ahmed needs bail as he wants to go to another country for better treatment.
The lower court has fixed May 29 for hearing on the bail, Mahanta said.
(With inputs from agencies)