Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Muggers on the prowl on DU campus

Incidents of mugging are on the rise on the Dhaka University campus for the past few months and the situation has aggravated ahead of the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr amid lax security measures.
At least 30 students and three DU teachers and some outsiders fell prey to the muggers over the last three months and one of the victims later died, said DU proctorial and Shabagh police station sources.
Also two teachers lost their cars and laptops of 15 students went missing while a CNG-three-wheeler and seven motor-bikes went missing during the time.
‘The campus has become insecure over the last few months as numerous crime incidents, mostly committed by the DU students, took place,’ Shabagh police station officer-in-charge Serajul Islam told New Age.
In the last one and half a year, a total of 35 bikes either were lost or snatched away and theft incidents took place at least 10 apartments of the teachers and university officials on the campus.
More than a hundred cell phones and more than a dozen of laptops of the students were lost beside the regular incidents in different dormitories.
But none of the things have been found despite filing general diaries with the nearest Shahbagh police station, the sources and victims said.
The adjoining areas of the campus, including Palashi, Kataban, Doyel Chhatar, Shishu Academy, Bangla Academy, Shabagh, Bangabazer and Chankharpool turn into muggers’ zone after the evening.
On August 9, a person was hacked to dead in front of the Bangla Academy premises by miscreants. The victim was identified as businessman Mahmadul Hasan Ratan Chowdhury, 50, from Gazipur.
On August 3, mobile operator Banglalink sale’s representative Zakir Hussain, 32, became victim of mugging at TSC at around 10:30am.
Witnesses said the snatchers, coming from the direction of Shaheed Minar in a white micro-bus, intercepted him and asked for all he had. But they could manage to flee from the spot as local people began to gather there.
On July 2, senior advertisement executive of the daily Prothom Alo Rashedul Alam also lost his bike after he had parked it in front of TSC Janata Bank office for attending an iftar party.
On June 20, Islamic history and culture department teacher Siddiqur Rahman Khan’s private car went missing in front of arts building at around 11:45am after he had entered into the department for one hour.
The following day, Salimullah Muslim Hall’s provost Golam Rahman Bhuiyan became a victim of mugging at around 8:00am in the Curzon Hall area.
While returning to the hall in a rickshaw, he was stopped by some young people. One of them got into the rickshaw, and claiming to have pistol and hand bombs, asked the teacher to give them his belongings.
Bhuiyan gave Tk 9,000 and his cell phone to the miscreants who later fled to the Shaheed Minar area.
Two cases were filed in this connection but nothing was recovered and none was arrested.
Two Indian citizens were mugged of their laptop, cell phone, money, passport and important documents in May near Doyel Chhatar.
Former Khulna University treasurer Mazharul Hannan did not find his car which went missing on May 18 when he entered into the central mosque for jumma prayers.
The teachers, students and victims blamed lack of proper lighting, security guards, laxity of law enforcers and access of the outsiders to the campus made the campus vulnerable to mugging incidents.
DU proctor M Amzad Ali and Shabagh police station officer-in-charge Serajul Islam pointed out a ‘strong’ syndicate was committing crimes on the campus.
An employee of a tea-stall at TSC told New Age that gangs of muggers start roaming the campus just after dusk.
The muggers, sometimes in the guise of policemen, intercept the motorists and hijack their motorbikes, victims said.
‘The easy access to campus paves the way for criminal activities,’ the proctor said, stressing the need for building up new gates in every frontier of the campus.
He also lamented that he had only 14 members on the proctorial body to ensure the security on the campus.
‘The university has eight entrances but there is no facility to monitor entry and exit of people and vehicles, and security boxes for the guards.
The facilities should be ensured as soon as possible to stem such criminals,’ he added.
The Shabagh OC Serajul Islam said, ‘We have to free the perpetrators despite being caught red-handed as they had identity cards provided by the university.’
The OC, however, did not want to disclose their names, saying, ‘It is shameful for the university.’
DU vice-chancellor AAMS Arefin Siddique sought cooperation from law enforcing agencies to improve law and order on the campus.

-With New Age input

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