Brutal crimes shake the society again

Posted: ফেব্রুয়ারি 7, 2009 in Uncategorized

HORRIFYING reports of killing, rape, extortion and hijacking that fill the pages of the dailies with alarming frequency lead one to believe that if anything the country has again fallen in the grip of barbaric and uncivilized forces. The violence that the country is witnessing now has turned it into a degenerate place of ‘Black African’ standard. When in the morning of February1 last, newspapers ran the news of gruesome killing of a 5-year old girl and two women at different places of the country, people went numb with horror, shock and panic because of the brutality with which these murders were committed.

Report carried by The Daily Star on February I indicated that Shewly, a five year old girl and daughter of Rabiul Sheikh, in the Kashiani upazila was strangled after being violated. As report from police sources indicated, Razib Kazi, a neighbouring youth offered Shewly a candy and took her to a nearby bush and violated her. To violate a five year old girl who has yet to understand the meaning of sex is simply barbaric. The whole country including the women activists group have raised their voice against all these beastly crimes coming up with alarming frequency. Savage, beastly, barbaric, frightening, traumatic and humiliating — could all these epithets give vent to our expression of anger and hatred against such abusers ?

In another incident in the Bhanga upazila of Faridpur district, Sharmin (17) was first raped and then killed by one Sujan, son of Hashmat Bhuiyan in the same union as she refused to marry him. In the third incident in Narayanganj, one Lupta Begum, young wife of Anju Miah, a steel re-rolling mill worker, was raped and then killed as she ventured to return home after work in a nearby house in the locality.

The gruesome murder of Asgar Ali, a phone fax dealer of Lalbagh on January 28 last sent a wave of panic among city-dwellers and traders in the locality. Even in a country where life is so easily extinguished, there was a feeling of revulsion about the killing. To kill a person or an enemy to death and then shredding the body into pieces is simply barbaric. Apparently, the victims body was chopped into more than 14 pieces and the dismembered limbs in wrappers were recovered by the police from different places in the city. The grisly manner of dismembering the victim’s body, packing in several wrappers and then placing at several places makes the crime far more sickening than an ordinary murder.

Crime analysts interpret such grisly nature of killings as striking fear in the populace and sending a message to the law enforcers about the enormous devilish strength of the perpetrators.

The incident bears an analogy with a crime perpetrated in 2004 in the Sutrapur area of the city in which the victim Shamsul Huq’s (a trader) body was sliced and disposed of in a similar manner. It was revealed later that two sons of a female ward commissioner, linked to the then ruling party, were linked to that crime

In another incident reported in the dailies in the recent past, Tania, a young girl working in a voluntary organization and residing in Mirpur area was killed by Shahidul Islam Tutul, her paramour and a phone fax dealer in the locality on January 14 last by strangulating her allegedly after raping, as the law enforcers who recovered her body from around the area near Mirpur graveyard indicated. Tania, it was learnt from the confession of the alleged assailant to the police, was pressurizing him to get into wedlock in consequence of his love affair with her.

Such grisly murder of men and women in their teens are being committed with impunity. Sohel Hossain Titu, a resident of Fakirapool and a travel businessman was murdered in roadside ditch by the Dhaka-Mawa highway as a sequel to feuds relating to marriage on January 31 last while he was returning from his father-in-law’s house.

In a country that we proudly call cultured, civilized and its people imbued with religious, ethical and moral values, such ghastly incidents of rape and murder put a stigma on our collective psyche.

In fact gruesome incidents of violence, terrorism, extortion and kidnapping have started to stalk the country just with the emergence of democratic governance. Sadly true, most notably, the capital city and adjacent areas seem caught in a frightening coil of fear and trauma as extortionists of all hues going by the name Oggan party, Malam party, chilly powder party are preying upon innocent people going out of their houses to perform their daily chores. It is worth mentioning that in one day on January 21 last, as reported in some dailies, at least 15 persons fell victim to such parties and in the last one week extortionists hijacked several CNGs and two drivers fell victim to their assault.

The distressing crime scene calls for some introspection on the part of the new democratic government a0d effective solutions. Unhappily, as the new government has started its journey towards building up a democratic governance, it continues to face the most harrowing time with so much of criminal actions jeopardizing governance, development initiative and vigour. The Home Minister while admitting the deterioration of law and order situation at the inaugural ceremony of the senior executive management course at the Police Academy at Mirpur on February 3 last stressed the need for stepping up police drive across the country to contain terrorism.

People only hope that it must not be an exercise in black humour because of the fact that track record of the law enforcement agencies is not anything inspiring. For a government that came to power with soaring expectation, the fall or decline must not precipitate into a crisis situation. The euphoria over the just concluded election victory would all but dissipate and would be replaced by exasperation that is fast turning into anger. It is not enough that policy directives are framed, it is important that these are implemented and complied with by those in charge of police administration without malice, fear or favour, and of necessity without delay.

Report published in the Prothom Alo on February 3 last about a police Inspector now working in Rajarbagh Police line and owner of huge wealth acquired by illegal means and allegedly killing his first wife Papia by strangulating on August 30 last year and then burying her without autopsy has raised questions if some of these offending law enforcers by virtue of their clout and wealth are immune from all such sinister offences! Reports indicated that the repeated attempts of Papia’s mother to file an FIR in the thana relating to her daughter’s mysterious death was not entertained. Left with no other alternative, the exasperated mother of the victim filed a case with the court for remedy.

Most alarming, the new surge in crime has believably peaked mostly with the backing of pseudo-politician cum godfathers who do have a pretty share in the toll other than the fact that they employ those thugs at the convenient moment to eliminate their rivals. While in most cases newspaper reporters, columnists and editors write ponderous articles, politicians who are still left with human values shriek in public speeches and police officers often leak stories about political interference destroying their morale, the dastardly acts of the hoodlums that continue to play havoc with the citizens’ lives go on unabated.

Incredibly, no attempt has been taken so far to retrain our police personnel at the thana level to think of themselves as representatives of the community rather than instruments of a cynical government machinery. Now a change of attitude is the call of the hour. The administration must rise to the expectation of the people and not wash its hands of the challenges by hiding behind the excuses here and there.

Md. Asadullah Khan is a former teacher of physics and Controller of Examinations, BUET.

The daily star 07.02.2009




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