Robbers or Innocent?

All the six suspected robbers killed in a mob-lynch attack at Keblar Char were students.The six were beaten to death by an angry mob at Keblar Char in the early hours of Sunday. Relatives identified them at Dhaka Medical College Hospital where they were taken for autopsy.The deceased were identified as Bangla College students Ibrahim, 24, Shanta, 24, and Polash, 26, Tejgaon Government College student Tipu Sultan, 23, and Mastermind International School and College’s A–level student Shams Rahman Shammam, 22.The sixth victim, Monir Setaf, was a student of BBA at Bangladesh University of Business and Technology (BUBT).Relatives said all of the deceased were from Dar-us-Salam and Shyamoli areas.Protesting the killings, several thousand people of the neigbourhoods, took to the streets around 12:30pm and blocked traffic for about one and a half hours.Being informed, local MP Aslamul Haque went to the spot and convinced them to withdraw the blockade, saying that he had already talked to the home minister about it.”After investigation, actions will be taken against those responsible,” he assured the agitated people quoting the home minister.Deputy commissioner (Mirpur zone) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police Imtiaz Ahmed echoed the local MP.”If it’s found after investigation that it was a case of murder, the culprits will be arrested,” he said.The family members of the deceased, however, claim that they were killed in a planned way.Shammam’s cousin Rifat told bdnews24.com that he was a meritorious and sports-loving student. “There is no question of his engaging in a robbery.”Ibrahim’s father Abu Taher, a fruit vendor, said, “I was providing his educational expenses with my hard-earned money. He went out on Sunday midnight to say his prayers and we received his dead body today.”Earlier, police told reporters a different story. The law enforcers alleged that the deceased were preparing to commit robberies in the area.Sub-inspector of Savar Model Police Station Aminur Rahman told bdnews24.com that they arrested a seventh person, Al Amin, in this connection. The arrestee, a 22-year-old man, was being treated at Savar Health Complex, he said.Rahman said the mob attack took place when the ‘suspects’ were preparing to commit robberies in the area. He said they recovered a number of sharp weapons from the spot.Al-Amin, however, denied all the allegations and claimed that the weapons recovered from the scene were not theirs.He said the deceased were his close friends and they had been there to take drugs when some people suddenly swooped on them. “My friends were killed on the spot,” he added.He also alleged that they were beaten in presence of police.Speaking to bdnews24.com, Amin said, “We’re wandering in the area. Suddenly, we saw lights flashing towards us. We thought these were headlights of trucks, but it became clear when the crowd got close. They started beating us before we could realise anything.””At one stage, I requested an elderly man to set me free, but as he joined others to beat me, I then urged a police officer to save me.””I heard the police officer telling the crowd that there will be a problem if everyone is killed. He asked them to keep someone alive and I was that lucky man,” he added.SI Aminur said, “Police launched another drive near the spot. They reached the spot at the last stage. We had nothing to do as the locals were very angry.”

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