Crime goes unchecked

July 31, 2012

The Pallabi-bound human hauler came to a sudden stop just before the Sheorapara bus terminal. Nearby, five youths were waiting, ominously. They were armed with steel pipes, bamboos and bricks.
There were ten to twelve passengers, including three women, in the human hauler city shuttle plying from Gulshan to Pallabi via Mahakhali.
The aggressive youths on standby on the street, none of them beyond the ages of sixteen to eighteen, dragged one of the passengers out of the vehicle and on to the pavement. The passenger was soon being beaten with a thick steel pipe. As if that were not enough, he was also pounded with bricks. But that was not all. Unable to pull out another passenger from the hauler, two angry youths pounced on him mercilessly inside the vehicle.
As the beating went on, in all the manifestations of medieval barbarity, the goons loudly abused the victims, calling them thieves, obviously to deflect attention from the truth. The two young victims, badly injured on their hands, legs, backs, heads and shoulders, were left in this shabby state. Of course, some of the passengers on the human hauler and passers-by tried resisting the attackers, but it did not amount to much.
Leaving all the passengers behind, the driver of the human hauler (Dhaka Metro 11-1888) sped away with the vehicle towards Pallabi.
One of the victims could not talk at all as he was in severe pain. The other said that they had had a quarrel earlier with the conductor of the hauler. Though the vehicle was supposed to ply non-stop, the conductor kept calling for passengers at the Mahakhali bus stoppage. The two men protested and engaged in a serious altercation with the driver and the conductor.
“So they called their friends over phone to beat us up,” he said, and alleged that in the course of the beating the goons also robbed them of their cell phones and money.
A Rab-4 petrol car stopped nearby, took a look at the crowd and slowly drove away. Later this correspondent talked with Rab officials and informed them of the incident.
But the senior officer in the Rab vehicle said it was not their business to wade into such an incident. It was rather a matter for the traffic sergeant to deal with. He advised this correspondent to pass on the information to the traffic sergeant on duty.
The correspondent spotted the traffic sergeant talking to the hauler driver and then, to his amazement, simply let him go.
When asked over telephone later, he lamely explained that he had not been informed of the beating incident. However, said sergeant Al Mamun, he had stopped that hauler and lodged a case against it as it was driving in a rough manner and creating traffic congestion!
“I would have apprehended the vehicle if I had known about the beating,” he said.

-With The Daily Star input

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