The country witnessed six incidents of mob lynching every month on an average, said Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) last year
On 29 October, a man in Lalmonirhat was brutally lynched for allegedly hurting religious sentiment.
The 50-year-old Abu Yunus Md Shahidunnabi Jewel's body was set on fire after he was beaten to death by an angry mob on Burimari Union Parishad premises in Patgram upazila of the district.
Unfortunately, this horrendous incident is not a separate phenomenon. Over recent years, a series of such extrajudicial killings have led to the losses of innocent lives and lifetime trauma for many.
According to Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), more than 600 people have been killed in mob beatings across the country since 2013. Of them, 51 people were killed in 2016, 50 in 2017, 39 in 2018 and around 50 in 2019.
The country witnessed six incidents of mob lynching every month on an average, said the legal aid and human rights organization last year. The organization also singled out Dhaka division as the place where most of the mob beatings occurred.
Such incidents first came to light when six students were beaten to death on the night of Shab-e-Barat in Borodeshi village near Aminbazar, on the outskirts of Dhaka, on 17 July in 2011.
Just 10 days later, on 27 July, a 17-year-old boy named Shamsuddin Milon was handed over to an angry mob by the police alleging that he was a robber.
Last year, a rumour spread like wildfire in social media that human sacrifices were needed for the successful construction of Padma Bridge and child abductors were seeking heads for that. It led to the tragic deaths of five people. Several people were beaten as they were suspected as 'child lifters.'
A mother visiting a school to enquire about the admission for her child, a physically challenged father picking up his daughter from the school, a mentally handicapped beggar and pedestrians looking for certain addresses became the victims of mob lynching.
On 20 July in 2019, a mob in the capital's Badda area lynched 42-year-old Taslima Begum Renu, a mother of two children, suspecting her as a child-lifter.
What was Taslima's fault? Going to North Badda Government Primary School to inquire about the admission process for her child?
Within two days of Taslima's death, several people lost their lives in mob lynching across the country. A 32-year old woman died at a Dhaka hospital after locals in Savar's Tatuljhora area beat her up, following her 'suspicious' movement; a man was beaten to death in Narayanganj as locals suspected him as a kidnapper; two men were thrashed by a mob in Keraniganj when locals thought them kidnappers while they were talking to a group of children, and an unidentified man was beaten dead by a mob at a tea estate in Moulvibazar.
Earlier this year, three suspected unidentified cattle thieves were beaten to death in Jashore's Abhaynagar upazila by the angry locals.
Last year, 18-year-old Md Shajib Mian, one of the lucky few people who survived uncontrolled mob violence, fell prey to a mob beating.
Amid an abrupt hullabaloo about a theft at the kitchen market adjacent to Savar bus terminal, someone pushed Shajib down and an angry mob started hitting him indiscriminately.
He felt numb at the very moment and tried to cover his eyes as some people were trying to gouge his eyes out.
Luckily, Shajib survived that day as the owner of a vegetable shop, where he used to work as a porter, intervened at the scene and saved him. But the trauma of the incident haunts him.
In a research titled 'Mob Lynching in Bangladesh-India: The Context of Communication Disorder and Culture of Fear,' it has been said that the incidents of mob lynching in Bangladesh refers to the helplessness of the mass people while in India it has taken a communal turn recently with the rise of cow vigilantism.
The study was conducted by Rajib Nandy, an assistant professor at the Department of Communication and Journalism of the University of Chittagong.
Although such incidents are more frequent in densely populated urban areas, rural and remote areas are also witnessing a spike in mob violence, according to the study. Especially in Char areas, locals often beat people to death on suspicion of being robbers.
Rajib Nandy has deduced that the prime reason behind the mob lynching is the loss of faith in the country's legal system and efficacy of the law enforcement agencies.