At a time the country like the rest of the world is struggling to overcome one of worst crises in human history, naturally the expectation was that it would exercise a sobering influence on people. Far from it, people seem to be turning more wolfish than ever before. Social environment has been vitiated to such an extent that people are suspicious of each other. It is difficult to repose confidence in people and confidentiality is a great casualty in social space. When media come up with all such negative news about some people's treachery, rapaciousness and abuse of their intelligence for criminal purposes and the helplessness of the victims, one tends to think if this is the lesson the younger generation ought to learn from history.
When great tragedies hardly affect the majority people, the empathy is missing. Some of them live in the cocoon they build around themselves. They are concerned only with managing good meals, living a comfortable life without ever giving a thought to the plight of the underprivileged. But then there are some intelligent people with criminally-bent minds who are resorting to fraudulence, kidnapping and carjacking. The pandemic may have given an ample proof of how transient life is, yet those who are committing crimes of the most horrendous types are unafraid of coronavirus.
Starting from infamous Shahed Karim of Regent Hospital, there have been many on the crime scene over the last 15 months. The country's intelligence branches and law enforcement agencies have been ensnaring members of one after another criminal gangs. Still, there is no end to such clandestine and underworld activities. A news channel has shown a video clip of a young migrant in chain lying helplessly in captivity somewhere in Iraq. Beaten and bruised, when the young man wanted to drink water, an empty bottle was thrown at him. It was sent to his father, a fishmonger at Kawran Bazar in order to extract money. With the promise of sending him to Europe, the gang active both in Iraq and Bangladesh took him captive for ransom. His father paid Tk 500,000 to the local members of the gang but the young man was not released. The police arrested two members of the gang ---a woman who went to a bank for encashing the cheque and a man who helped her. The video footage at the bank counter helped identify the woman.
Look, how the criminals have spread their network beyond the border. They have established their haven in a Middle-east country. Earlier, similar incidents were reported from other countries as well including Libya. Whether local Iraqis are involved in the kidnapping business is not yet known.
In another drive an intelligent unit caught hold of a gang engaged in carjacking. They used to send the vehicles to Noakhali for putting a fresh but different coat of paint. Then these were sent to Begumganj for preparation of false documents and number plates before sale. Five members of the carjackers including the ringleader of the gang confessed this following their arrest by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB).
Of the three incidents a TV channel reported one after another, this last one concerns no violence or daredevilry but in gravity and import it is far more disconcerting. Eight people, seven of them from Dhaka Education Board, were arrested by the law enforcement agencies for issuing fake SSC certificates in exchange for money. It is not for the first time that such crimes have been reported but implication of seven board employees certainly points to the gravity of the problem.
Now why are people opting for criminal ways instead of reforming them in time of the pandemic? The more affected segments of the population are silently suffering; it is the ultra smart and morally debased who are looking for immoral and illegal channels for material gains. These people have lost their core values as an individual and a member of society. Society on its part has failed to espouse ideals and human values that lift people's spirit to aim for lofty goals and objectives.