13 die in violence over COVID-19

Ahammad Foyez | Published: 00:16, Jun 05,2020 | Updated: 08:48, Jun 05,2020


At least 13 people were killed and 461 injured in 119 violent incidents over novel coronavirus-related issues between March and May, found a study.

The report was prepared by Dhaka University’s Centre for Genocide Studies and was jointly published by Bangladesh Peace Observatory, a UNDP-funded research facility, on Wednesday.

The research group also revised its data on the deaths with COVID-19-like symptoms due, what it called, to mistakes.

Now it said that at least 720 people died in the country with COVID-19 symptoms until May 30 since March 8, which they said was 1,010 in its report published on May 19.

Director of the centre Imtiaz Ahmed told New Age on Thursday that the number of deaths with coronavirus symptoms was decreasing as more people were being tested for COVID-19.

Imtiaz said that the report was prepared based on reports that came out in 25 newspapers, televisions and internet news portals between March 8 and May 30.

According to the report, at least three people were killed and 36 injured in 15 violent incidents in March, five people were killed and 218 injured in 48 incidents in April and five people were killed and 207 injured in 55 incidents in May.

In a Cumilla incident, the report mentioned, a man told his two nieces to stay quarantined at home as they had recently returned from Dhaka. But the two nieces and their father got agitated, scolded him, and an altercation began over the matter.

At one point, the father along with his sons and others randomly beat and injured his younger brother. Later, the victim was rescued but the doctor declared him dead. Police arrested six people in this connection.

‘A Jubo League activist was killed and at least nine people were injured during an intra-party clash of ruling Awami League in Bauphal upazila under Patuakhali district over building a gate in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus,’ the report narrated.

The report also said that at least 101 incidents over the virus took place during the time, which became the reason for spreading fear among people.

As per a case study in the report, a young man died after a piece of meat got stuck in his throat in Uchutia area under Sadar upazila in Manikganj district.

The deceased’s sister Sumaiya Akter said that her brother was taken to the emergency department of Manikganj Sadar Hospital. But the duty physicians did not come in his aid suspecting him as a COVID-19 patient. After a while, they declared him dead.

In another case study in Chandpur, the report said, a female Secondary School Certificate examinee committed suicide after being incapable of bearing the shock that his father in Qatar was infected with the coronavirus.

The study also described that 125 incidents of street protests took place between May 30 and April 26 while 50 per cent were held for wages, 36 per cent for relief, aid or food and 7 per cent for irregularities in relief and other food aid distribution.

The study said that 466 people were arrested in this time for their alleged involvement in relief misappropriation while 9,109 people were fined during the period for different irregularities related to COVID-19 relief.

In the same period, 86 people were arrested for spreading rumours in 82 incidents across the country, the report said.

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