Beaten boy’s final moments shared on social media
BANGLADESHI police were hunting a group of attackers yesterday who had lashed a 13year-old boy to a stake, then beat him to death, filming the onslaught on a smartphone.
The 28-minute video, in which the boy is seen begging for water as he lay dying in the northeastern city of Sylhet, has sparked huge protests in Bangladesh since it went viral on social media at the weekend.
Police said a postmortem on the boy, named as Samiul Alam Rajon, had revealed scores of injuries all over his body, including the head and chest. He died due to internal bleeding.
“Samiul Alam Rajon died on July 8 as a result of merciless beating,” police chief Alamgir Hossain said. “His body had at least 64 injuries.”
Junior Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said police had arrested two people in connection with the killing and were looking for four others.
“They will be arrested and given tough punishment,” Kamal said.
The chief suspect, Muhit Alam, was remanded into custody for five days by a court in Sylhet yesterday after police pressed murder charges.
Police said the attackers tied Samiul, a part-time vegetable seller who dropped out of school to help his impoverished family, to a pole for allegedly committing a burglary – a charge his family vehemently denies.
“My son is not a thief. Everyone knows it. I want justice for my child’s murder,” Samiul’s mother Lubna Aktar said.
In the video, the terrified youngster can be heard screaming in pain and saying repeatedly: “Please don’t beat me like this. I will die.”
Samiul’s attackers can be heard on the video trying to force him to confess his involvement in the burglary.
He was at one stage told to walk away but as he tried to get to his feet, one of the attackers shouted: “His bones are okay. Beat him some more.”
When he begged for water, he was mocked and told to “drink your sweat”.
Alam was arrested trying to dump the body in an isolated area of the city.
Hundreds of people formed a human chain outside Samiul’s home yesterday to protest against the killing, which prompted widespread soulsearching on social media about the prevalence of violence in Bangladesh.