Bigger threats to public safety that call for urgent mitigation

Faruque Ahmed
The nation has no major political crisis at the moment and yet it is bad hit by a series of crisis at almost all levels such as public lynching, killing of young people at home and in open places, rape of school and madrasha girls even by teachers and epidemic attacks by Dengue fever to list a few.
These are big public safety issues and even more powerful to harm the nation than political turmoil in city street. The government has reason to be concerned but one would expect it would not look at everything such as lynching politically to make it controversial.
It is no secret that the continued deterioration of law and order has almost broken the country’s social fabrics in which no one has least concern for life of others. Enmity has overtaken over fellow feeling in the society causing killing even within family and friends.
People were so far panicked with growing incidents of crossfire in which police would claim to have killed drug traders and other criminals in night time encounters. Now lynching emerged in open place as a new threat evidently taking life of many innocent.
As a matter of fact crossfire victims have been denied of justice and so also lynching victims have now hardly any scope to justice. Most people do it with the spirit of protecting children from being kidnapped but in fact they commit murder without knowing it. So public awareness must be taken to stop such killing so that even attempt by motive can’t happen.
Meanwhile, public health organization are failing to deal with Dengue patients as they are crowding in hundreds for treatment at hospitals in the capital and down to district and upazila level where beds are limited and testing kits have not enough supply. Over 9000 dengue case reported so far including 29 dead since dengue landfall. City corporations and hospitals have no preparation and lacked trained physicians to handle the crisis as it unfolds.
Many believe we must have declaration of an emergency situation to deal with dengue and crimes now spreading all over the country. This is time when rumors of alleged kidnaping of teen age and growing mob beating in cities and rural areas are increasingly making public life insecure.
In 14 districts so far eight people were reportedly lynched publicly in the past weeks including one woman at City’s Badda area by unruly mob.
At Gudagari in Rajshahi district a poor man with his daughter went to meet his wife now living in separation to settle the dispute. As they came to a meeting point, some people misunderstood them as suspects and tried to lynch. Later police recovered them.
It happened in Khustia, Moulavi Bazar, Mymensingh, Narayaangonj, Lalmonirhat and such other paces.
Mob at Badda snatched the woman before lynching from the office room of the primary school head mistress as somebody cried of wolf. They beat her to death in the school compound. She came to the school to know about the prospect of admitting her only daughter.
The woman Taslima Begum Renue told her identity that she live at a place around the school when the mother another teen age at the school wanted to know it. But she raised the alert of the presence of so-called kidnapers and as shouts inside the school grew locals at an outside kitchen market quickly gushed in. They lynched her ignoring her pleas.
Her four year daughter whom she wanted to admit into the school is now alone as the mother was her lone guardian in absence of father. Seven were arrested so far in this case and all of them have no words why they lynched the woman except speaking of their rage against one who they misunderstood as kidnaper.
The fact is that the nation has lost the minimum sense of restraint and moral values. They were not aware of the fact that such suspects must be handed over to police for verification and justice.
The cases at almost all other places have similar stories involving unknown people in the locality at a time when a vigorous social media campaign is at work misleading the society.
Reports said in Sathkira district beggars even carry local chairman certificates and copy of NID card with them to instantly show their whereabouts as protection from lynching. They have reduced begging trips and stopped going to areas outside their locality although it has shrunk the means of their livelihood.
Some websites were even spreading strange stories that the Padma Bridge site has demanded sacrifice of 100,000 teen age at the spot to successfully end its construction evidently linking the kidnaping stories. Common people have reason to be guarding against such attempts at a time they were not enough aware that such rumors are false.
Police and local administration have taken up such awareness programme from last week but given the scale of such false campaign and danger from it, many believe a national emergency like measure is needed to protect people’s life.
IG police on Wednesday said they have sealed 60 facebook accounts and 10 online portals to plug the rumors. The rumor originated from Bubai, he said. Many believe police should go to the root of such rumors however cautioning that any attempt to politicize the cases may equally backfire. Unfairly involving the innocent may also increase tension in new fronts.
Media report that police recovered packets of explosives from in front of police boxes in city’s Khamarbari are and Purana Palton on Tuesday night may have come as a new denominator to the case.
People don’t know if public lynching and explosives recovery have any link to each other and to political quarters. Looking politically one may build a critical political case but over-enthusiasm may also misled the nation. It is time to keep the trust of the people in law enforcers to protect the nation from being misled.
To face the epidemic dengue fever meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has instructed the officials concerned on Wednesday to minimize the sufferings of the dengue victims.
She has asked the authorities concerned of the two Dhaka city corporations to strengthen their anti-mosquito drives to check dengue. She also instructed the health authorities to form a special medical team in each city hospital to ensure proper treatment of dengue patients.
The PMO has also asked all government officials to clean their respective offices and to go for motivating people to keep their residences and neighborhoods clean where dengue mosquitos thrives. 25.07.2019

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