Bike-riding muggers worry city dwellers

December 31, 2011

Law enforcers find it tough to tackle them
Dhaka dwellers are terrified of bike-riding muggers, who in broad daylight snatch money from citizens on their way to or from banks and they do not give a second thought to hurting anyone.
Even law enforcers are worried about the recent increase in such mugging incidents.
At least 20 such incidents were reported in December alone but many incidents go unreported as victims do not believe the law enforcers would be of any use in recovering their money. At least one person was killed, over 10 people suffered bullet injuries and one was stabbed by the criminals in the 20 reported incidents.
But the law enforcers could neither recover the money nor arrest anyone significant.
On Tuesday, a gang of armed criminals took Tk 10 lakh after shooting a shop employee dead and injuring another in the capital’s Bangshal. The bike-riding gang attacked soon after the two came out of a bank withdrawing the money around 3:30pm.
Another bike-riding gang around noon on that very day took Tk 5 lakh by shooting a trader as he came out of a bank with the money.
On Monday, criminals sped away on bikes taking Tk 10 lakh from two fabric traders. They fired shots in the air to clear their escape path in Kakrail of Dhaka.
On December 19, Tk 10.5 lakh was snatched from the city’s Khilkhet and Tk 10 lakh from Shyampur. On December 12, Tk 10.30 lakh was snatched from Kakrail and Tk 3.90 lakh from Pallabi. On December 11, Tk 12:20 lakh was looted from Chankharpool and Tk 8 lakh from Matuail in Jatrabari.
All the incidents happened in broad daylight and were carried out by motorbike-riding criminals armed with firearms. Most of the incidents took place in crowded places.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) commissioner and other senior officials on December 20 at their “Monthly Crime Conference” at Rajarbagh Police Lines expressed concern over the increase in such incidents, sources said.
They said DMP Commissioner Benazir Ahmed had strong words for the deputy commissioners of different divisions, officers-in-charge of all police stations of DMP and other officials for their failure to prevent this type of crime.
Seeking anonymity, an officer-in-charge, who was in the meeting, said apart from expressing concern, the commissioner directed them to launch special drives, set up check posts and intensify patrol.
Talking to The Daily Star, DMP Commissioner Benazir Ahmed Tuesday evening said he already directed all his forces to launch special drives across the capital to control this type of crime.
Replying to a query on the upward trend of mugging, the DMP commissioner said, “We often arrest criminals but they resume their criminal activities after getting out on bail.”
He claimed, “We have already arrested the members of two such gangs and we are hopeful of arresting the rest.”
On December 1, an official press note of Rab-3 mentioned that recently the incidents of mugging have increased in the capital.
When The Daily Star contacted Commander M Sohail, director of Legal and Media Wing of Rab, he admitted several incidents of mugging and said this type of criminals stay quiet for some time and then become aggressive and then go quiet again.

-With The Daily Star input

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