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Juvenile gang culture an issue of grave concern

Published : 09 Sep 2019 09:01 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 03:12 AM

Increasing number of juvenile gangs as well as their engagement in various horrifying criminal activities in different cities and towns across the country have become an issue of serious concern for parents and society as well. Recently Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal has also expressed concern in this regard and urged parents to be more watchful over the activities of their teenage children and take necessary measures to stop their children from getting involved in juvenile gang culture.

The home mister has also warned that anyone involved in juvenile gang culture will not be spared and be tried as per the law of the country. Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia has also vowed to uproot gang culture from the capital Dhaka. DMP Tejgaon Zone deputy commissioner Anisur Rahman told Bangladesh Post that they are working very seriously to stop juvenile gang culture and will not rest until it comes under control. “I have directed all the officers concerned under my jurisdiction to conduct drive at least 2 to 3 times every week.”

Mentioning the gravity of the teen gang culture Anisur Rahman said, “Teenagers of the capital’s Mohammadpur, Mirpur, and Uttara area are most vulnerable to juvenile gang culture. In my zone a large number of teen gang members were arrested earlier. Police will continue actions to minimize this problem in accordance with law.”

Law enforcing agency sources found that hundreds of gangs are now roaming the capital. Many of them are involved in various crimes. As most of them are under 18 years of age, they were arrested and sent to juvenile correctional facility. However, according to Children's Tribunal of Dhaka, there have been 90 murders due to juvenile gang culture in the last 15 years.

Although, juvenile gang culture is not a new phenomenon in the capital, the rising trend of teenagers' involvement in criminal activities through different gangs has become an alarming issue for the fast growing society. According to an official of police, teenage gang culture began in 2001. These teenage gangs are involved in various criminal activities like harassing girls, partying, racing motor bikes or cars at high speeds, controlling the playground, getting territorial positions in neighborhoods or even taking and selling drugs.

In this regard, crime analyst and researcher Siddikur Rahman said, “There are many inconsistencies in the society. Teenagers are moving away from their local culture. Their behavior has been changing. Heroism is a factor in adolescence. Again, a kind of gang culture is developing among the adolescents.”

In many cases, adolescents are being influenced negatively by foreign cultures as they move into their territory. In a concerted effort with the teachers, guardians, public representatives or people who listen to the society, it is possible to bring the endangered teenagers back from the gang culture, he added.

Director of Law and Media Branch of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) Lt. Colonel Sarwar-Bin-Kashem said, “Members of the gangster group got involved in major crimes through committing minor crimes. So parents need to be aware first to correct them. It is possible for parents to take control of their children if they have right information about their children.”

Criminology experts blamed premature access to money, unrestricted access to the internet and social media, and the scope to roam free are the main causes behind the increase of such criminal activities among the teens. Building awareness among parents is the key to solving the problem. Law enforcing agencies must give counseling to the gang members and their guardians to help them back to a normal life, experts suggested.