Fourteen people survived lynching attempts by mobs in five districts – Tangail, Natore, Bogura, Naogaon and Cumilla – while another victim of such mass beating died at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital on Sunday as the scare of child lifting persisted.
Of the 14 survivors, six were in Naogaon, three in Tangail, two in Bogura and one in Natore, according to reports received from the districts. The victims survived as the police or people came forward to rescue them from the angry mobs.
The 45-year-old unidentified man who died at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital Sunday evening was critically injured in a mob beating on Thursday at Kholamora Adarsha School under Keraniganj upazila on the outskirts of the capital, said the hospital police outpost in-charge, inspector Bachchu Mia.
During the last couple of days, at least four people including a woman were killed in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country as fear of lifting child spread across the country.
Against the backdrop of casualties in mob beatings, the police headquarters in Dhaka 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’.
In Naogaon, an angry mob beat up six fishermen at Buridah village under Manda upazila in Naogaon district on Sunday morning on suspicion of attempted child lifting by them, leaving them critically injured, Manda police station officer-in-charge Mozaffar Hossain said.
He said that the identities of the victims could not be known immediately.
Being informed, the police rushed to the spot and saved the fishermen from the mob, the OC added.
The New Age correspondent in Tangail, quoting the police, reported that three unidentified men – one aged about 30, another about 32 and the other about 52 – were handed over to them after mobs thrashed them on suspicion that they were child lifters at three places, Kandila bazaar under Sadar upazila, Saya Bazar under Kalihati and Shantikunja Mor in Tangail district town, on Sunday and Saturday night.
This paper’s correspondent in Bogura, also quoting the police, reported that two people – one Afjal Hossain, 42, of Sajapur under Shahajahanpur in the district and another 27-year-old unidentified youth – were injured as they were beaten by mobs at Tilerpara and Shantahar under Sadar upazila in the district on Sunday.
Bogura Sadar police station sub-inspector Nure Alam and Shantahar police outpost inspector Anisur Rahman said that local elected local government representatives rescued the two victims and handed them over to the police.
In Natore, the police rescued a mentally challenged youth from mob beating on Sunday noon in the town's Taltola area after people suspected him of being a child kidnapper, said Kazi Jalal Uddin, officer-in-charge of Natore police station.
The Cumilla New Age correspondent, quoting district additional superintendent of police Tanvir Salehin, reported that two males and a woman were critically injured in mob beating Sunday morning at village Amratali under Sadar upazila in the district on suspicion that they were child abductors.
On Saturday evening, a 35-year old woman died at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, about 10 hours after a mob beat her at Tentuljhora under Savar upazila in Dhaka at about 10:00am suspecting her to be a child lifter, hospital police outpost in-charge inspector Bachchu Mia said.
On Saturday, the police headquarters in a media release asked the people not to take law in their own hands and not to pay heed to any rumour.
‘If anyone is suspected to be a child lifter, hand him or her over to the police without giving him or her mass beating,’ it said.
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 the Rapid Action Battalion arrested at least seven people until July 13 for their suspected involvement in spreading rumour over the Padma Bridge project, official sources in the police and the battalion said.
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