The incident happened in broad daylight on Dhanmondi Road no 2 at 10am on March 6. Amid the presence of dozens of passersby, a motor biker suddenly stopped beside a pedestrian in front of Star Kabab restaurant, snatched away his side bag in a blink of an eye, and fled the scene.
The pedestrian was a working journalist based in Dhaka. “It was one of the most awkward moments of my life as the incident took place all of a sudden, leaving me at a loss what to do,” says Abu Tayub Farhad while talking to this correspondent on Tuesday.
“There was nothing valuable in terms of money but I lost my passport. I have filed a general diary with Dhanmondi police station over the incident,” he added. In another such incident, near Abahani playground at Satmasjid Road, private university student Nusrat Tasnim was also mugged on March 8 afternoon while returning home after attending her classes. Two riders on a motorbike barricaded her rickshaw and snatched away her belongings in a few moments.
“Two guys came in a motorbike and stopped the rickshaw showing knife to my rickshaw puller,” said Nusrat, adding, “They were young like me, may be university going. They did not look like ones who have gone to dogs.” She said that she lost her cellphone and seven thousands taka. “As there is no hope of getting back my handbag I did not file any general diary with police,” she said.
Zahid Hasan and Ratna Hasan were traveling on rickshaw from Jigatala in Rayer Bazar on the morning of February 3. A white private car sped up alongside and pulled her bag away. Ratna survived despite being injured as the handbag was torn apart.
Many local residents of Dhanmondi, Mohammadpur said that they were victims of being mugging or bags being snatched. They continued that incidents of mugging have become rampant and seems to be widespread in the areas. Most of the occurrences take place in the early morning, evening, and at the time of day when roads remain pretty less occupied.
In fear of police harassment, many victims do not even bother to inform police. Local residents alleged that most of the muggers are young and addicted to drugs. It seems despite having increasing numbers of vehicle patrol from police stations, such criminals are continuing to commit crimes.
According to police, 36 people has been killed in mugging scenes in the city last eight year. About 900 cases were lodged with Police by city dwellers over the last 5 years just on mugging cases. According to them, 119 cases are reported to police last year. Although experts denies that numbers could be higher.
Regarding rampant incidents of mugging, officer in charge (OC) of Dhanmondi Police Station Md Humayun Kabir told Bangladesh Post, “I have deployed civil police to nab muggers. Actually we are trying hard to ensure tight security despite manpower limitation. ”
“Community policing, awareness build up campaign has been enhanced. I have visited important establishments in my areas to remain vigilant. In the meantime police rescued a stolen motorcycle from Barishal division and presented the criminal before the court.”
“Most of these muggers are outsiders, and from rich families. I have recently joined this police station. Our efforts are underway to root out these muggers from Dhanmondi,” the officer emphasized. The acting incharge of Mohammadpur Police Station Inspector (Investigation) Abdul Alim said, “I would say numbers of incidents are decreasing. Special patrolling team deployed at the early morning to ensure security.”