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UNO: Outsiders behind Lalmonirhat mob lynching

  • Published at 11:14 am November 1st, 2020
Mob lynching-Burimari
File photo: Abu Yunus Md Shahidunnabi Jewel was beaten to death and his body was burnt on this spot on October 29, 2020. Later, People from all walks of life in Rangpur demonstrated at Payra Chattar over the lynching the next day Dhaka Tribune

'As the UP chairman could not identify them, we can say that they were outsiders'

The people who lynched Abu Yunus Md Shahidunnabi Jewel, spreading rumours that he had desecrated the Quran at the prayer hall of Burimari Central Jame Mosque at Patgram upazila in Lalmonirhat, were not known faces in the locality.

Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Kamrun Nahar told this to journalists at her office on Saturday while describing the incident.

Although the local administration failed to save Jewel on the day, they managed to rescue his companion, she said.

While doing so, the administration also came under attack by people who were driven by their emotions, the UNO said.

Jewel, 50, was beaten to death by an angry mob on the Burimari Union Parishad premises on Thursday for allegedly hurting religious sentiments. 

Also Read- 6 arrested over Lalmonirhat mob lynching

The mob then took his body some 300 metres away to the Prothom Bashkol area on Lalmonirhat-Burimari highway and set it on fire, fuelled with dried materials, tyres, and petrol.

Although law enforcement members opened fire at one stage to bring the situation under control, that could not disperse the angry mob.

Meanwhile, an intelligence report filed over the killing has found no evidence of desecration of the Quran by the victim.

Two probe committees - one by the district administration and another by the National Human Rights Commission -- have been formed to investigate the shocking incident.

Police, meanwhile, arrested six people in three separate cases in this connection.

The UNO said: "I tried my best to rescue them but could not. The incident that took place is not acceptable."

Kamrun Nahar said she along with the local representatives tried to bring the situation under control and at one stage the situation calmed down.

Also Read- Police suspect foul play in Lalmonirhat mob lynching

"When I reached the spot, there were 600 to 700 people. However, a huge number of people suddenly poured in and everything went out of control.

"It is really tough to ease tension when there is such commotion spurred by religious sentiments," she claimed.

Most of the people who were present at the scene were not locals, she said, citing Burimari Union Parishad (UP) Chairman SM Newaz Nishat.

"As the UP chairman could not identify them, we can say that they were outsiders."

Newaz Nishat was also sitting beside the UNO while she was talking to journalists. Patgram Upazila Parishad Chairman Ruhul Amin Babul was also present at the press conference.

Also Read- Lalmonirhat lynching: Investigators find no evidence of Quran desecration

It took some time for the law enforcement agencies -- Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), and police -- to arrive at the scene due to the distance from the district headquarters, she said, adding that they were trying to calm the situation in the meantime.

"It was not possible to deal with such a large crowd due to the lack of manpower." 

When asked if the rescue operation could have been carried out earlier, the UNO said: "There was no situation to rescue them. I did not have the force at the moment. I had no way.

"I tried my best not to give instructions to open fire. However, after being compelled to do so, I later had to change my decision."

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