Woman killed as muggers pull her off rickshaw in Dhaka

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Most such muggings take place in Dhaka during midnight to early morning, and most victims are women

After spending a five-day vacation in Dhaka, Lipi, along with her husband and children, was on her way to Kamalapur Railway Station to return home to Sylhet. None of them had imagined the journey would be tragic.

In the horrific incident, Tarina Begum Lipi, 38, fell on the road and sustained fatal injuries to her head when a mugger in a car, forcibly tugged at her bag near the Bir Shrestha Shaheed Shipahi Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Mugda around 5:45am on Saturday.

She was subsequently rushed to Mugda General Hospital first and then shifted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) as her condition deteriorated. Doctors at DMCH declared her dead shortly after her admission to the hospital.

The family came to Dhaka on February 24 to visit their relatives in South Rajarbagh area after the completion of their son Shahriar Kibria’s secondary school certificate exams. 

They were on their way to Kamalapur Railway Station to catch a train for Sylhet. 

“As soon as our rickshaw reached near Mugda stadium, a gang of muggers pulled Lipi’s bag. She immediately fell on the ground and was later declared dead at DMCH,” Lipi’s husband Golam Kibria said.

He said they were traveling in two rickshaws–Lipi was with her son while the husband was with their daughter Shameema Binte Kibria, 7. 

“They disrupted the life of our whole family,” said Kibria with tears in his eyes. 

Proloy Kumar Saha, officer-in-charge (OC) of Mugda police station, said a murder case had been filed over the incident, and police were conducting drives to detain the muggers.

Criminal groups prowl in the capital, with crimes like robbery and mugging committed early in the morning due to the relaxed security arrangements. The criminals mostly lie in wait in areas close to bus and launch terminals and railway stations targeting people who either arrive in Dhaka or are on the street to avail transport.

They largely target the women riding in the rickshaws.

On January 26, 2018, Helena Begum, an employee of Green Life Hospital, was killed after being run over by a car with a gang of muggers who were trying to snatch her purse. The muggers snatched her bag, and as she fell down, the car ran over her, killing her on the spot.

On December 18, 2017, a five-month-old infant died after falling from a moving rickshaw in the city’s Doyaganj area when muggers attempted to snatch the mother’s purse.

On October 28, 2014, a woman died after muggers dragged her several feet on the street while trying to snatch her handbag near Sobhanbagh mosque in the capital’s Dhanmondi area.

The victim Ayesha Ripa, 27, a resident of Lalmatia, was on a rickshaw around 6:30am when a group of four to five muggers riding a white microbus tried to snatch her purse, the strap of which was wrapped around her hand.

As the snatchers grabbed and pulled at the handbag, Ayesha fell off the rickshaw, and they dragged her through the street. The snatcher who had grabbed the purse did not let go until Ayesha’s grip on the bag loosened. Then the muggers sped away, leaving her on the road. She was declared dead later.

42 suspected muggers arrested

In a separate development, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) arrested 42 suspected muggers from different areas of Dhaka during a special drive conducted on Friday night.

Police also recovered many locally made sharp weapons and 85 mobile phones from their possession, DMP Detective Branch (DB) Additional Commissioner Abdul Baten said at a press briefing at DMP Media Centre in Dhaka on Saturday. 

“The majority of mugging incidents occur from midnight to early morning. Most of the lamp posts of Dhaka city don’t function properly, which is why city dwellers who walk on the footpaths at night easily fall prey to muggers,” he said.

In addition to surveillance of the marked areas, police are creating awareness among the bus terminal authorities to prevent such crimes, he added.

Meanwhile, elite force Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) detained five suspected members of a dope gang from Sher-E-Bangla Nagar area of Dhaka on Friday, who were reportedly attempting to mug people on public transport.

Major H M Parvez Arefin, commanding officer, Second Crime Prevention Company (CPC-2) of RAB, told Dhaka Tribune that the gang was waiting to snatch belongings from the passengers of multiple buses on Dhaka-Savar route. 

“The petrol team detained them following prior information. The suspects confessed that they were the members of an organized dope gang,” he said adding that two bottles of sedative were also recovered from them.