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Check mob beating

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24th-Jul-2019       
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IN the last six months, 36 people were killed by mobs. In the last five days, eight, including two women, were killed and at least 30 others were injured. Shockingly, many of the victims were intellectually challenged. Mob attacks on people labelling victims "child kidnappers" continue unabated despite several directives from the government and its agencies. However, police yesterday arrested six persons in Tangail for beating a man labelling him child kidnapper.  Several others have also been arrested in the last couple of days for the same reason.
The incidents of mob attacks became more frequent after July 18 when a young man carrying a child's severed head in a bag was caught and beaten dead by locals in Netrakona. In Rajshahi on Tuesday, police rescued five field officers of NGO Ad-din Welfare Centre, in Charghat upazila after locals attacked them labelling "child kidnappers". Incidents have increased even after the Police Headquarters and the Bridges Division authorities issued several warnings against the spreading of rumours.
So it has become quite clear that the recent spate of mob violence is due to false rumours that the Padma Bridge can't be built and that human sacrifices are needed. This nonsense rumour is responsible for spreading a state of fear and panic among the people. Now, the average citizen is panicked into thinking that any unknown person is a child kidnapper or murderer.
The Police Headquarters on Sunday instructed superintendents of all districts to strengthen surveillance at educational institutions, monitor social media, raise awareness, and stop spreading of rumours of child abduction. It ordered increased patrolling and surveillance at educational institutions, raising awareness among teachers, school staffers, parents and students, and installing CCTV cameras covering all areas of the institutions.
But this should have been done much earlier to ensure the survival of the people who were killed in the last six days alone. There is no indication that this epidemic is going to stop anytime soon unless greater efforts by public authorities are done to stop the menace. We think, simply giving out information won't work. There needs to be a strong deterrence in place to ensure that this is not repeated in the future and for that to work the current culprits must be punished publicly with the full force of the law.


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