LOCALS beat dead six college and university students and injured another youth suspecting them to be robbers when they went to take drug to a secluded place in Aminbazar on the outskirts of the capital early Monday.
Three of the deceased were from Mirpur Bangla College, and one each from Tejgaon College, Bangladesh University of Business and Technology (BUBT) and Maple Leaf International School.
The injured, Al Amin, 18-year-old youth who supplies different kind of products to shops, is now being interrogated by Savar police.
Relatives said the students had offered prayers during Shab-e-Barat at Darus Salam mosque in Mirpur before they went to the area.
Locals said a few hundred inhabitants of Bordeshi village in Aminbazar chased them before beating them up after a robbery alarm was raised.
The incident took place at Bordeshi Purbopara Balurmath area, our correspondents covering the incident reported.
Troubled badly by alarming rise in robbery and snatching incidents over the last month, locals were patrolling the area in shifts with sticks and sharp weapons in their hands, they said.
Talking to The Daily Star without disclosing his name, a middle-aged man said a big engine-run trawler approached Bordeshi around 1:35am.
“Those who were patrolling sent alarm to others. We, the senior ones, decided to let them enter a bit further in so that we can catch them,” he said, adding that there were about 15-17 in the group.
Announcement on loudspeakers from three mosques asked locals to come forward with whatever arms they have.
When they reached Bordeshi Purbopara Balurmath area on the bank of the river Turag, the locals chased the group.
While most of the group managed to board the trawler, seven failed to make it. Two jumped in the river but locals dragged them ashore.
Locals said the ‘intruders’ claimed to be students from Darus Salam area on the other side of the river.
While the mob was beating up the seven, a woman pleaded others not handover them all to police, who rushed in from a nearby outpost.
“This saved my life,” Al Amin, 18, said when his father Khabir Bepari met him at Savar Thana Health Complex at 11:30am on Monday.
Quoting his son, Khabir told The Daily Star that the seven went to Bordeshi area in a rickshawvan.
“Locals armed with sticks and sharp weapons attacked them while they were sitting there,” he said.
Talking to The Daily Star, Mizanur Rahman, Dhaka superintendent of police (SP), claimed that about 15 persons went to Bordeshi area for robbery.
The group snatched Tk 5,000 from a sand trader named Malek before leaving the place, he said.
“They went to the place again after some time and were chased by locals, alerted by announcements from loudspeakers that robbers have entered the area,” he said.
Malek was preparing to file a case, the SP added.
Locals said when they contacted police in the wake of alarming rise in robbery and snatching, police asked them to form groups to guard the area in shifts.
“Robbers come in trawlers, loot our houses and shops and flee in the same trawlers,” an aged woman of the area told The Daily Star.
Shams Rahim, 17, son of former deputy attorney general Aminur Rahim from Shyamoli, was an A-level student of Maple Leaf International School
Ibraheem Khalil, 22, son of Abu Taher from Darus Salam, was a first-year Accounting student of Mirpur Bangla College
Towhidur Rahman Palash, son of Mujibur Rahman, was a first-year Physics student of Mirpur Bangla College
Qamruzzaman Kranto, 16, son of Suruj Mia, was a HSC first year student at Bangla College
Tipu Sultan, 20, was a first-year Physics student of Tejgaon College
Munib Sitab, 21, son of Dr Mokhles Rahman, was a BBA student of BUBT
While talking to his father over mobile phone around 12:30am, Shams said they were going to visit some places with some other friends.
“When I called him again at 3:00am, Savar OC Mahbubr Rahman attended the call. He asked me to go to Savar Police Station,” Aminur Rahim told The Daily Star.
Going there, the father learnt to his surprise that his son had been killed.
Sirajul Islam, elder brother of Palash, strongly opposed the locals’ version that the group went there to commit robbery.
“My brother is not supposed to be involved in this kind of crimes. He was a good student,” Sirajul, a Buet student, was crying while talking to journalists at the morgue of Dhaka Medical College.
Palash’s friend Faisal Mahmud said he was also supposed to go with the group.
“We go to Savar and Aminbazar area for walk after the prayers during the Shab-e-Barat every year. But I failed to make it this time,” he said.
After the news spread, students of Mirpur Bangla College blocked Mirpur Darus Salam Road demanding arrest and punishment of those involved in the killing.
The blockade, beginning at 12:30pm, continued till 2:00pm. The agitators vandalised some vehicles.
They withdrew the protest after local MP Aslamul Haq assured them of probe into the incident. #