Hossain, a crime reporter for the Khulna-based newspaper Anirban, was kidnapped from his home in Ula, a village near the town of Dumuria, Khulna District, at around midnight by a group of about 35 armed men. Police suspect that the assailants belonged to the outlawed Biplobi Communist Party, one of several guerrilla groups active in the lawless southwest of the country.
Hossain was last seen alive on the banks of the Ghangrail River, according to the national English-language newspaper The Daily Star. Two villagers who were in the area at the time said that they heard shots fired. Although police could not confirm whether Hossain was murdered at the time, his colleagues and his family believe that he was killed.
An investigation published in the Bangla-language daily Janakantha in January 2005 reported that on the day Hossain was abducted, he was forced onto a boat and shot. His body was dumped into the river and was never been found, the report said.
Bangladesh’s southwestern Khulna District is a notoriously dangerous place for the press; underground political groups and criminal gangs routinely threaten, attack, and murder journalists in retaliation for their reporting. Between 2000 and 2005, seven journalists were murdered in the southwest.
Hossain was initially placed on CPJ’s missing list based on information available at the time. His case was reclassified in March 2005 based on subsequent research.