Vigilante lynchings in Bangladesh have taken the lives of eight people. The acts were prompted by rumors circulating in social media about kidnapped children being sacrificed as offerings for the construction of a bridge according to local authorities.
News of the lynchings broke last Wednesday. The victims were attacked by an angry mob over the false rumors that were spread mostly on Facebook. Javed Patwary, local police chief in Dhaka said the rumors claimed human heads were required for the USD3 billion mega-bridge project.
“We have analysed every single case of these eight killings. Those who were killed by lynching mobs – no one was a child kidnapper,” said Patwary.
Over 30 people have been attacked over the fallacious rumors.
According to Patwary, authorities across Bangladesh have been ordered to crack down on the source of the rumors. At least 25 YouTube channels, 60 Facebook accounts, and 10 sites have been shut down in the crackdown operations.
Local media reported that the murderous lynchings followed reports of a young man allegedly seen carrying a child’s severed head in Netrokona.
Among the victims was Taslima Begum, a mother of two who was beaten to death by a mob last Saturday after she was suspected as a child kidnapper, authorities said.
Another victim was a deaf man who died the same way as Begum while he was out to visit his daughter outside the capital.
Police officials have reportedly arrested eight people in connection with Begum’s murder and at least five others were incarcerated for spreading the rumors.