No fewer than 8 people have been killed after they were falsely accused of child abduction.Police said a mob lynched the men over fabricated allegations of child abduction.
According to officials, the deaths were linked to rumours that children were being kidnapped and sacrificed in order to build the Padma Bridge, one of Bangladesh’s biggest infrastructure projects.
A rumour that “human heads and blood are required to build the Padma Bridge” reportedly spread online.
The rumor led to eight people being killed. But none of those killed were guilty of kidnap.
One of the victims, Taslima Begum Renu, 42, was killed while visiting a school in Dhaka. The single mother had arrived at the building to enquire about enrolling her children, but people assumed she was a child abductor and they killed her.
“We could do nothing against the wave of people,” a teacher at the school told newsmen in tears.
The other victims were a man in his 30s, beaten by a mob in Keraniganj last Thursday, and a woman in her 30s, assaulted by a mob in Savar on Saturday.
Mohammad Javed Patwary, the inspector general of police, said: “We have found that none of those killed in mob violence were child abductors.”He said 103 people have been arrested in relation to the murder.
He added that officers have shut down at least 60 Facebook accounts and 25 YouTube channels which spread the human sacrifice rumour.
The force has asked members of the public to desist from spreading rumours and carrying out mob justice.
The government is also launching a campaign to combat the rumours.”From [Thursday], a week-long awareness campaign against spreading rumours will begin across the country,” Mr Patwary said.