One killed as Padma Bridge rumor lingers | 2019-07-15

One killed as Padma Bridge rumor lingers

Mahabub Alam

15 July, 2019 12:00 AM printer

One man was killed and several others were injured during the past several days when a mob lynched them as suspected child lifters as the rumor that human heads were required for the construction of the Padma Bridge lingered.

According to police, angry people swooped on these men “suspecting that they were collecting children for sacrificing their heads and blood in the name of Padma Bridge.”

On July 10, a man was killed and two others were injured by mob in the capital’s Mohammadpur area on suspicion of being child lifters.

However, the identity of the deceased could not be known, said Abul Kalam Azad, inspector (investigation) of Mohammadpur police station.

The injured underwent treatment at a city hospital, police said.

According to statements of witnesses, a child was hit by the bicycle of the ill-fated man. He immediately got down from the cycle to pacify the child.

Witnessing the scene, locals swooped on the man and began to beat him indiscriminately resulting in his death. The mob also uprooted two of his eyes, police informed.

Because of urgency, a man was running through Chandmia Housing area in Mohammadpur on July 11.

All of a sudden, a man who passed by him shouted ‘Kallakata palaitachhey’ (a killer is fleeing). At once, locals swooped on him giving him a good beating.

Later, the victim introduced himself to be a resident of the locality who was running due to urgency.

In reply to a query, one from the mob said he followed the suit without justifying the truth. On July 8, locals gave a mass-beating to another woman near Mohammadpur bus stand.

According to a police official, the victim was a resident of Gazipur who entered a house at Mohammadpur for responding to the call of nature.

The house owners mistakenly took her to be a child lifter and gave her a good beating. Later, police rescued her from their wrath and admitted her to a nearby hospital.

The police official said another incident of mass beating happened at Rayerbazar in the capital on the night of July 11, but police rescued the victim, a man, from the wrath of the mob immediately after the incident. Reports of similar incidents reached from Adabar and Mirpur area too.

On July 11 night, an auto-rickshaw driver fell victim of mass-beating at Anarpur in Matlab upazila of Chandpur district.

About 70 to 80 people swooped on him without knowing anything. Later,  local people saved the driver.

On the same day, locals gave a good beating to a man named Manu Mia at Gastala in Islampur of the district.

Manu, a resident of Bashabari at Raipur in Laxmipur, was a mentally retarded person who was begging. Later, police rescued him. 

On July 10, a father was beaten by mob while he was trying to bring his son back to his house from elsewhere in Narayanganj’s No-2 Railgate area.

According to Bandar police, the boy along with two other children left for Bandar area without telling anything to his family members.

After frantic search, the man found him and taking him back to the house. But, local people mistakenly took the people to be a child lifter and beat him up indiscriminately.

Ansar Uddin, additional superintendent of police (ASP) of Jashore, said locals beat up a number of unknown people in the district on suspicion of child lifters recently.

“We gave directives to our officers-in-charge to do publicity through loudspeakers to make people aware about the truth.”

In Satkhira, a motorcyclist, Riaz Uddin Morol, was beaten by local people on suspicion of child lifter.

Riaz is a resident of Gobrakhali village in Debhata upazila.

“Jashore police are doing wide publicity through loudspeakers not to pay heed to rumours,” said Mostafizur Rahman, OC of Satkhira Sadar police station.