A Close Look

Muggers on the prowl, again

Nilratan Halder | Published: December 23, 2017 00:44:56

Muggers are on the prowl again -this time with renewed vengeance. The other day a woman on a rickshaw in the city coming from Shariatpur for treatment of her son had to suffer the loss of her baby when muggers tried to snatch her vanity bag. When muggers pulled her bag hard, she held fast but in the melee her own dear baby slipped out of her lap. A pickup van reportedly hit the baby on the street causing its tragic death.

This reminds one of another such tragedy when after a train journey a woman took a rickshaw ride on way home from Kamlapur Railway Station. When the woman reached the New Model Degree College at Shukrabad, a mugger from a microbus window pulled her vanity bag. But the bag somehow got entangled with one of the woman's hands and she was dragged hundreds of metres before the muggers could free the bag. She also died a most brutal and tragic death courtesy of the vicious snatchers.

Muggers are becoming unstoppable. Maybe, the malam (balm) parties have taken a leave for sometime. Today their activities are hardly reported. However, the Agyan parties (who leave people, mostly passengers in trains and buses unconscious) are still quite active. They still target simple and not-so-smart people for robbing them clinically. They use anaesthetic substances in order to make their operations successful.

Muggers go into hibernation when the law enforcement agencies launch drives against them. Interestingly, in the case of the death of the baby in the snatching incident involving the Shariatpur mother, the man in-charge of the nearby police check post at Jatrabari has been closed. He has been closed on charge of negligence of duty. The police check post is barely 40-50 metres from the spot where the mugging incident took place. Also, report has it that another incident of mugging occurred in the same place a few days ago. Clearly, the assistant sub-inspector did not take his job seriously. Two incidents of mugging within days do not highlight the justification of a check post there.

Closure of a cop is not a stringent punishment. In fact, apart from telling on someone's reputation, it does hardly any harm to the member of the law enforcement agency. Rather, one may consider it a blessing in disguise because, it gives one some useful rest. Most policemen are unlikely to be highly sensitive so much so that they consider it denigration.

Had it been the case, crimes rate in the country would have dropped to the minimum. The way activities of the muggers ebb and flow has something to tell. It would not be outlandish to think that the police have a fair idea of the muggers. If they are serious, muggers take to their heels. But when the agency is lax, the gangs announce their ubiquitous presence. This gives the impression of an informal understanding between the two.

That may not be the case. But when the police are found to be involved in similar heinous crimes, criminal gangs looking out for opportunities for robbing people of their money and valuables also get inspired. Realising money from traders on a regular basis does not make a disciplined force any proud. Actually, the service of the law enforcers is not well paid. Their duty hours too should be slashed if they are expected to respond to an untoward situation with the best of their reflex. Toll collection by men in uniform is undignified. When people in high positions indulge in various malpractices in order to accumulate wealth, the cops at the lower ranks cannot be blamed for being unscrupulous. After all, they know more about people in places and feel encouraged to go wayward when they face pecuniary hardship. A reform to the agency is so essential in order to prepare them for taking up challenges for the future.

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