Three people, including a woman, were killed and five others injured in beating by angry mobs in Dhaka, Narayanganj, Pabna and Gazipur on Saturday after they were suspected to be child lifters.

Of them, a woman was killed in the capital, a youth killed and another injured in Keraniganj of Dhaka, another youth killed and a woman injured in Narayanganj, a youngman injured in Pabna and two mentally challenged people were injured in Gazipur.

Against the backdrop of casualties in mob beatings in recent times, the police headquarters in Dhaka in a media release on Saturday said that a number of people were killed in mob beatings recently on suspicion that they were child lifters, based on rumours that ‘human heads will be needed to construct the Padma Bridge’.

It said that creating instability by spreading rumours was tantamount to anti-state activity and killing anyone in mob beating was a criminal offence and that the police was investigating all the incidents of mob beating on suspicion that the victims were child lifters, adding that they (police) were working to bring to book those involved in the mass beatings.

‘Do not take law in your own hand. Don’t beat anyone suspecting him or her to be child lifter by paying heed to any rumour. Please refrain yourself from spreading rumour or paying heed to rumour. If anyone is suspected to be child lifter, hand him or her over to police without giving mass beating,’ the release added.

In Dhaka, Taslima Begum Renu, 42, of Wireless Gate area of Mahakhali in the capital, was declared dead at Dhaka Medical College Hospital at about 10:30am, about two hours after she was beaten by an angry mob in front of Uttar Badda Government Primary School at Uttar Badda in Dhaka at about 8:00am, Badda police station inspector Yasin Gazi said.

Local people caught the woman and beat her suspecting her to be a child lifter, he said.

The victim’s nephew Syed Nasir Uddin Titu, who identified the woman, claimed that his aunt was beaten to death when she went to the school to enquire about the procedure and cost to admit her child at the school.

United News of Bangladesh reported that an unidentified youth was killed and another injured critically in a mass beating at Rasulpur village under Keraniganj upazlia on the outskirts of the capital at about 8:30am.

Locals said that they suspected the two youths to be child lifters as they were trying to talk to a group of children, caught them and then beat them, said sub-inspector Chunnu Mia of Keraniganj police station.

The New Age correspondent in Narayanganj reported that an unknown youth was beaten to death by a mob at Alaminnagar in Siddhirganj upazila in the morning after the youth was allegedly found holding the hands of a schoolgirl at around 8:30am.

As locals asked him about his relation with the girl, he failed to give any satisfactory answer, prompting them to suspect him as a child lifter and, at one stage, to start beating him mercilessly, leaving him critically injured. Later he was declared dead at hospital, said Mir Shahin Pervez, officer-in-charge of Siddhirganj police station.

Besides, a woman named Rehana Begum was beaten by locals over a child-lifting rumour at Shapla Chattar in the upazila when she went to a house and gave a doll to a child at about 9:00am.

The New Age Correspondent in Pabna reported that Md Sohel Rana, 32, son of Rafikul Islam of Ambagan area in Ishwardi upazila in the district, was beaten by a mob who suspected him to be a child lifter when he went to the house of one Nayeb Ali and his four-year-old boy began crying, said Chatmohar police station officer-in-charge Sheikh Nasir Uddin.

The correspondent of this paper in Gazipur, quoting police, reported that two mentally challenged people – Mamata Khatun, 35, of Bakrail under Durgapur in Netrokona and an unidentified man of similar age – were injured as an angry mob beat them suspecting them to be child lifters at two separate places in Gazipur.

Mamata was beaten at Chandana in Gazipur and the unidentified man at Chhota Latifpur under Kaliakoir in the district.

Earlier on Thursday, a mob beat a youth to death at New Town of Netrokona, suspecting him to be a child lifter.

On July 9, the road transport and bridges ministry, in a notice, urged people not to pay heed to any rumour about the need for a human sacrifice for the Padma Bridge project.

Later, the police and Rapid Action Battalion arrested at least seven people until July 13, official sources in Police and the battalion said.


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