Cruelty to children must stop


Sixteen-year-old Sagar, accused of theft, was killed in a mob beating on Monday in the village Srirampur of Gouripur Char, Mymensingh. This is not the first instance of such horrific killing of a child and there has been angry public response to such deaths. But despite public protest against cruelty and brutality, these merciless killings continue to take place. There is an apprehension that such mob cruelty towards children is an indication of mental perversion.

According to Bangladesh Child Rights Forum, in the three years from 2012 to 2015, a total of 1085 children were killed. The NGO Manusher Jonno’s 2016 report on the state of children says that last year 214 children were killed, 304 raped, among whom 22 died. Raping and then killing children is an increasing trend in the country. Innocent children are victims of feuds between adults. Children of the enemies are killed and buried. Many children are killed after being abducted for ransom. Child domestic help are also tortured and killed.

In many cases, the criminals have been speedily arrested, tried and sentenced to death for horrifying child murders. But the killing of children does not end. Is that because the crimes outnumber the punishment? That seems to be so. Like other murders, the child murderers use their influence to escape punishment. Local political and financial clout is a common tool to evade justice.

Six people were named in the Sagar murder case and another six or seven remain unidentified. Two have been arrested so far and it is hope the others will be arrested shortly. It is imperative that the criminals in every single child murder are speedily arrested, tried and punished. This is the main means for pulling the reins on such cruelty towards children. There is also need for social resistance. The researchers and experts dealing with social psychology need to focus their attention in this direction.

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