Law enforcers on alert to stop mob lynching

Stringent action against child abduction rumour


Law enforcers have intensified surveillance to stop mob lynching in suspicion of child lifting. In the wake of a sudden rise in such incidents that have resulted in deaths of a number of innocent people over last couple of days, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina instructed all law enforcing agencies to remain on their toes to prevent such incidents.

As part of the ongoing measures to stop mob lynching, Police Headquarters in a written letter on Sunday ordered the chiefs of all units and district police supers to take instant actions against the ones who will spread rumours of child abduction verbally or through different social networking sites.  The Bangladesh Post has received a copy of the letter signed by Assistant Inspector General (Operations) of Police Sayeed Tariqul Hasan.

The Police Headquarters (PHQ) also put forward a set of recommendations which include increasing police patrol and intelligence monitoring over all the educational institutions across the country. The SPs have been instructed to take necessary steps in creating mass awareness by holding view-exchange meeting with teachers, members of governing bodies, employees of the educational institutions.

Teachers and staffers of the educational institutions must ensure that all students leave the schools with their guardians. The authorities of the schools must install CCTV cameras and confirm that all the cameras remain in operation, the police headquarters letter reads. The letter also outlines four advices for creating mass awareness against the mob lynching incidents.

Local police will announce using loudspeakers among people to make them aware about informing law enforcers instantly of any rumor regarding child abduction. People have also been urged not to pay any heed to the rumors. Local police will also circulate posters and leaflets in this regard. Local representatives, administration, civil society, representatives of community police will hold courtyard meetings for creating awareness against the rumour of child abductions. Imams of the mosques are also urged to speak to resist the rumors of child abduction.

Special vigilance should be ensured at the slums areas of the metropolitan cities and district towns, police headquarters said. Police headquarters will publish advertisements in the print and electronic media urging people not to pay any heed to the rumors. Besides, local satellite TV channels will also be used to telecast anti-child lifting programmes.

All police officers concerned must sent reports about the legal steps they have taken in this regard within next three working days, the letter of the police headquarters read. Talking to the Bangladesh Post, Joint Commissioner (Crime) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police Shaikh Nazmul Alam said, “We already have started vast awareness programmes in various ways.”

Advertisement have been posted in the DMP’s web portal, official Facebook page requesting the city dwellers not to pay heed to the rumors, he added. Terming the spreading of rumors of human heads for the Padma Bridge an evil move against the government, he said, “Some anti-government elements are circulating the rumours to create instability in the society by creating panic among the guardians.”

“We already have hold courtyard meetings at around 320 beats of the DMP.” He urged not to be panicked. He also suggested not to shut down any educational institution following the baseless rumors. Rabiul Karim, president of Government Primary School Teachers Association’s Dhamrai Upazila Chapter said, “On Monday, a mob of around five hundred unruly people carrying irons rods and bamboo sticks entered at the premise of the  Pabrail Government Primary School at Pabrail village under Balia Union of Dhamrai Upazila in Dhaka District.”

“They searched all the rooms, even toilets for so-called child abductors. Getting information, I also visited there. But I found that it was nothing but a rumour,” he added. Local people said minor children and their guardians got panicked after seeing the unruly armed mob. According to the media reports, 12 innocent people were killed and around 50 were seriously injured just in last two weeks. Only on Sunday last, some 24 people were injured across the country by mass beating in suspicion of child abductoin.

Some anti-government elements are allegedly circulating baseless propaganda against the Padma Multipurpose Bridge to disrupt the ongoing massive development work undertaken by the government. Intelligence sources said, some BNP-Jamaat activists from abroad first started the propaganda using fake accounts of different social networking sites, mainly Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Then a section of Jamaat e Islami-backed Islami Chhatra Shibir and BNP- backed Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal leaders and activists in a well-coordinated way, started spreading the rumours from the past months. As the rumors are spreading from one district to another, government has taken it seriously.