Police have taken a tough stance against teen gangs active in and around the Hatirjheel Lake in the capital as they detained 71 members in two days.
Following complaints lodged by victims, the Police Headquarters directed the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) to conduct drives to stop the activities of the teenage offenders.Assistant Inspector General of Police Sohel Rana told the Daily Sun that a man complained to the Police Headquarters a few days ago that the gang members harass visitors.
Later, they directed the Hatirjheel police to look into the matter, he said, adding that they also decided to deploy additional forces in uniforms and plainclothes.
Sources said gangsters used to commit mugging, sell drugs and sexually harass female visitors. Even, they got involved in murder sometimes.
Policemen in separate drives detained 71 teenagers from the lake on Tuesday and Wednesday. Of them, 55 were picked up on Wednesday.
Of the detainees, 55 were released under the custody of their families on some conditions.
A total of 45 Yaba tablets were also seized from three of the 16 detained teens.The entire Hatirjheel Lake area has been divided into five parts where five teams in uniforms and plainclothes were carrying out the drives.
Policemen from the police stations concerned, Detective Branch and Public Order Management Division of the DMP were operating the special drives. Contacted, Sazzadur Rahman, DMP deputy commissioner (Ramna division), told the Daily Sun that there is a small part of the Hatirjheel Lake under his division while entire lake is under the Tejgaon division. “We continue to operate drives against teen gangs active in Hatirjheel in our part,” he said.
Abdur Rashid, officer-in-charge (OC) of Hatirjheel Police Station under Tejgaon division, told the Daily Sun that it was not true that they were conducting drives against teen offenders after the directive of the Police Headquarters. “Three to four months ago, we detained 120 teen offenders on various charges, including harassing visitors. We sometimes operate drives but we need additional forces in this regard. We don’t get additional forces all the time,” he said.
Mentioning that there are some slums in Madhubagh and Begunbari areas, he said the teenagers of those slums as well as Badda harass the visitors.
Sources said teenage gangs of Madhubagh and Begunbari often lock into conflicts over establishing their supremacy.
On February 24 last year, two teenagers -- Shipon Hasan, 18, and his friend Manik, 16 -- came under an attack by their rival group at Begunbari, leaving Shipon dead and Manik seriously injured.
On October 14 last year, police received the body of a youth, Azizul Haq Mehedi, from the Hatirjheel Lake. He was killed by some of his friends before the body was dumped into the lake.