Surge in crimes worry citizens: New Age

NewsWorld365 NewsWorld365 , April 27, 2014

The recent months have witnessed a surge in crime in its different forms, including killing, abduction, snatching, robbery and vehicle lifting, in the capital and elsewhere causing concern among citizens with the police and other agencies concerned seemingly dealing with the law and order in a half-hearted way.
Criminologists and experts said that such crimes had increased taking advantage of the reluctance on the part of law enforcement agencies to take effective steps to curb crimes.
According to data available with police headquarters and Dhaka Metropolitan Police, crimes such as abduction, killing, robbery, snatching, burglary at jeweller’s and vehicle lifting increased considerably in the first three months of 2014, compared to the last three months of 2013.
Police headquarters statistics showed that 168 incidents of kidnap and abduction were recorded in October-December, 2013 while the figure was 196 for January-March in 2014.
Similarly, 1664 incidents of theft, 130 snatching, 248, robbery and 594 burglary were recorded in the last three months of 2013 while the numbers increased to 1817, 166, 288 and 727 respectively in the first three months of 2014.
DMP data also indicates a rising trend in the incidents of abduction. It recorded 33 incidents of kidnap for ransom or other purposes between October and December in 2013 while the number rose to 50 in the first three months of 2014.
Incidents of robbery, vehicle lifting and drug peddling were also on the rise.
Killings, rape, recovery of bodies and lynching were being reported almost every day from different parts of the country.
The year 2013 was the most violent year in a decade when 4,393 people were killed, according to the data of police headquarters.
The trend continued this year with at least 1,100 people killed in the first three months, showed the statistics.
Use of small firearms by gangsters in committing crimes has increased alarmingly as detectives said that the arms were being smuggled into the country taking advantage of poor vigilance in the border.
At least 505 firearms were seized countrywide between January and March in 2014 whereas the figure was 342 for October-December in 2013.
Detectives said that besides organised gangs, some local youths were getting involved in different crimes like burglary, mugging, and vehicle lifting.
Experts and detectives said that the number of such crimes would be higher, but in most of the cases, victims did not lodge complaints with the police.
When asked, a police official admitted that they did not have enough information about those who had got involved in such crimes in the city in recent months.
A DB official said that they had indentified five major gangs of muggers their ringleaders. Gangsters led by Sultan, Jahangir, Afsar, Kana Sattar and Ramzan were now active in the city.
In one of the sensational cases of abduction in recent times,  apparel businessman Abu Bakar Siddik, husband of green activist Syeda Rizwana Hasan, was abducted by an armed group at Bhuigarh on the Dhaka-Narayanganj Link Road on April 16, when he was returning to Dhaka from his factory at Fatullah in Narayanganj.
But mystery shrouded the whole episode after the businessman was left unhurt at Mirpur 35 hours after abduction. Lawmen were yet unveil the mystery and hunt down the abductors.
The flat of a police officer was burgled in the high-security Rajarbagh police lines area on April 23.
Muggers in separate incidents at Bashabo and Turag in the capital on April 13, stabbed two sales agents of distributors of bKash, a money transfer service provider, and snatched Taka 16.5 lakh from them.
Six days earlier, in a similar incident, muggers on motorbikes shot another agent of bKash and snatched about Taka 10 lakh from him on the busy Rokeya Sarani.
Police detained Masud Parvez,25, a local leader of Bangladesh Chhatra League, with a firearm in the capital’s Eskaton area when he was allegedly attempting to snatch Taka 5 lakh from a person.
Burglars looted about Tk 16.40 crore by tunneling into the vault of Sonali Bank’s main branch in Kishoreganj on January 26.
The Rapid Action Battalion, after two days, detained two people, including the prime suspect in the burglary and recovered about Tk 16 crore 19 lakh from a house in the capital’s Shyampur Balurmath.
Barely one and a half months after the incident in Kishoreganj, burglars in movie style looted Tk 32.51 lakh from another branch of Sonali Bank in Bogra after digging a tunnel into its vault on March 8.
Besides, miscreants entered a jeweller’s at Farm View Super Market in the city by cutting a hole into its wall and looted around 160 bhoris of gold and some cash on April 18.
Former inspector general of police Hadis Uddin said some of crimes like abduction had increased in recent times triggering concern among the people.
He said that some of the major cases of abduction were not properly dealt with and the suspects were still at large, which was a reason that such types of crime were continuing.
Md Ashraful Alam, chairman of Criminology and Police Science at Maulana Bhashani Science and Technology University, blamed the reluctance of police and other law enforcement agencies in recent times for the surge in crimes.
‘A good number of lawmen were deployed countrywide to tackle the opposition’s protest programmes at the end of 2013. Taking advantage of the situation, criminals became more active. When the situation normalized to some extent, lawmen seemed a little reluctant to check crimes,’ said Ashraful.
Md Azizur Rahman, associate professor of the department, said that most of the criminals entered the underworld starting from petty crimes such as theft, snatching and burglary. Then they seek political shelters for survival and finally turn into political godfathers.
DMP deputy commissioner Masudur Rahman (media and public relation) admitted that such types of crime had increased in recent times claiming that the police were taking measures to curb crimes.
RAB legal and media wing director ATM Habibur Rahman denied that they were showing reluctance in checking crimes rather working with the police to keep the law and order under control.

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