At least 34 people were killed in numerous incidents of mob beatings throughout the country in 11 months of the immediate past year, posing a threat to the overall law and order.
Over 114 incidents of mass beatings took place during the period where mobs beat them to death suspecting them to be robbers, thieves, frauds, hijackers or other criminals.According to the statistics of the Department of Centre for Genocide Studies at Dhaka University, 34 people became victims of mob violence while 131 others sustained injuries.
Some innocent people also fall prey to such violence, leaving their families in unending sufferings for justice.
Some 12 percent of such incidents happened suspecting the victims as robbers while 11 percent as thieves, 11 percent as frauds and 11 percent as hijackers, according to the statistics.
Umme Wara, an assistant professor of Criminology Department at Dhaka University, told the Daily Sun that one of the reasons behind the mob violence is that one feels free to commit the crime.
“One seems to think that none will hold him or her as crime is committed by many together,” she said.
She said that such crime mainly occurs in cities and towns where huge vagabonds and unemployed youths move and chat in groups as they have no work.These types of people do not hesitate to beat anyone, she said.
“Punishments are hardly ensured against the offenders and it is another reason behind such incident. Case is always filed against unknown people. And police are not interested in registering cases. Besides, the mass media do not carry out follow-up on the issue,” she said. She suggests that law must be applied strictly while employment opportunity must be created to check such incidents.
As per the rights body Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), 30 people fell victim to mob lynching in different areas of the country from January to September in 2020.
Although the year 2020 witnessed some pathetic incidents, the good news is that the number of mob violence dropped in the year compared to last few years.
In 2019, 65 people were beaten to death by mobs. The number was 39 in 2018, 50 in 2017, 51 in 2016, 135 in 2015, 127 in 2014, and 128 in 2013.
On October 29 in 2020, locals in the northern district of Lalmonirhat beat a man Shahidunnabi Jewel, 50, to death and then burned his body over allegations of hurting religious sentiments.
The incident took place at the bordering union of Burimari at Patgram upazila.
Jewel, father of two, was a former librarian of Rangpur Cantonment Public School and College and a student of Dhaka University.
Later, law enforcers caught the culprits who spread the rumour and killed him.
On August 23, a mother and her young daughter were mercilessly beaten by a group of people led by Union Parishad chairman Miranul Islam in Paharchanda area of Chakria under Cox’s Bazar on suspicion of cattle thieves.
They were beaten after tying them with rope and handed over to police.
The National Human Rights Commission expressed concern over the incident and asked the SP of Cox’s Bazar to look into the matter.
On September 6, a young man and a teenager were brutally beaten up by some local influential people on suspicion of mobile phone theft in Char Bhabanipur area of Mymensingh Sadar.
A video, recorded on a mobile phone, shows that the young man named Foyzal and teenager Rakib are being beaten mercilessly.