The government has been cautioning people against the rumour making rounds on social media, that human heads will be used in the construction of the Padma Bridge. A number of people were also arrested from various places for spreading such rumours. It is not clear exactly where these rumours stated. Many people compare this to the rumour about convicted Jamaat leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee being seen on the moon.
Rumours are rumours. The government's first task is to identify the source of the rumours and take legal action. The government claims to have done that already.
However, this rumour has led to several incidents of lynching. People suspected to be child kidnappers have been beating to death. This cannot be accepted. The authorities must take immediate action against those perpetrating such lynching. No one involved in this crime should be spared.
It is alarming that so many people are being lynched to death on suspicion of being child abductors. What does this trend indicate? Such mob kilings are not merely violation of the law. These acts go against civilization.
It is mostly weaker people who have been lynched to death -- women and disabled persons. Many of them were not able to protest or identify themselves in time, before the mob attacked.
According to a Prothom Alo report, an unidentified woman, around 40 years of age, was beaten to death in the capital's North Badda on Saturday. She had gone to the North Badda Government Primary School to inquire about admission. The headmaster also spoke to her. Somehow rumours spread that she was a child-lifter. Local people entered the school compound and lynched her to death.
Another woman died similarly in Tetuljhara, Savar. She was offering biscuits to a child. Similar tragedies have occurred at Siddhirganj in Narayanganj, Rasulpur in Keraniganj, Dhaka, Sitakunda in Chittagong, Chandana in Gazipur and Bhaluka upazila of Mymensingh.
Mob lynching and killings are not new in Bangladesh. There have been many cases of people being lynched for hijacking and robbery. The psychology that works behind this is that going to the police station is useless. Since they feel no action will be taken, the public takes the law into their own hands. But this simply cannot take place in in a civilised world.
The government or the administration has failed to take effective action against the frequent incidents of lynching. Timely action would have prevented these repeated mob killings
Taking law at own hand is a criminal offence, no matter whether it is by an individual or a mob. It is the responsibility of law enforcement agencies to ensure that such crimes do not take place. Creating public awareness is also importantr. Where there is law, justice and humanity, there is no reason for such occurences to be perpetuated.The same applies to extrajudicial killings by the law enforcement in the name of 'crossfire'.
Both lynchings and extrajdicial killings must be halted in order to ensure the rule of law.