Night coaches fall prey to highway robbery and gang rape05 August 2022 Editorial Desk
This was not unexpected. Daring robberies and rape incidents were committed in night coaches on almost all the highways across the country. What is worrying is the fact that robbers are adopting ingenious ways in carrying out their dreadful operations. According to media reports on Thursday, a group of seven armed men posing as passengers hijacked a Chattogram-bound coach in Tangail, robbed commuters of cash and belongings, and raped a woman at gunpoint. The incident took place in the Raktipara area of Tangail's Madhupur upazila off the Dhaka-Tangail Highway during the early hours of Wednesday.
Meanwhile, police arrested Raja Mia -- the reported mastermind behind the heinous crime -- during a drive in the New Bus Stand area of Tangail on Thursday morning, the superintendent of Tangail Police confirmed the matter quoting passengers. Raja Mia, son of Harun-ur-Rashid of Balla village of Kalihati upazila, is a bus driver himself. Efforts are underway to arrest the others involved, he told the media, adding the bus of 'Eagle Paribahan', with 24 passengers on board, was on its way to Chattogram from Kushtia late on Tuesday night when the crime occurred. Three of the seven robbers boarded the bus around 11pm on Tuesday after it resumed its journey following a stopover at a hotel in Sirajganj. And some 5-10 minutes later, four more got into the bus, police said.
Reportedly, on a desolate stretch, the armed gang robbed the commuters of cash, jewellery and mobile phones. The robbers then blindfolded the passengers and gang raped the woman and left the place. The 30-year-old rape survivor from Kushtia filed a case of rape and robbery at Madhupur Police Station on Wednesday afternoon, said Officer-in-Charge of the police station. The victim is currently being treated at Tangail General Hospital.
Criminologists have opined that the economic crisis caused by the pandemic has compelled many people to become more daring than before and opt for desperate -- albeit unlawful -- methods for survival. But the records show after coming out of prison on bail or otherwise, they do not take a long time to commit the same crime. There are many smart and intelligent guys. If there were correction centres in the true sense of the term, these men could be reformed and rehabilitated in society.
In fact, steps should be taken towards turning gradually all the prisons into correction centres. The highway police should act properly towards elimination of these crimes.