‘Don’t pay heed to rumors’

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DHAKA, Aug 23, 2019 (BSS) – Eminent citizens, rights activists and civil society members have urged the people of the country not to pay heed to the rumours and not to be panicked about it which frequently take place in the country with an ill motive.

The children and women are the main victims of rumors, they said and suggested raising mass awareness to stop torture on women and children.

In recent days, the mob lynching, triggered by social media rumors, caught the country by surprise.

Angry mob have lynched a number of people, suspecting them to be child-lifters following rumors spread by a vicious circle saying human head is needed for the ongoing construction of the much-awaited Padma Bridge.

According to media reports, at least 14 people were lynched across the country while over 50 others survived lynching attempts as rumors of child lifting spread. Most of the lynched victims are women. But children have also been affected by the rumors as they always scared about the child-lifters.

Parents, especially mothers of the children, are passing unbearable days being worried about child-lifting rumors. To stop the rumors and bring relief among women and children, experts think mass awareness campaign should be carried out across the country.

They also said that most often the victims are lynched on suspicion while the offenders spread rumor to instigate the people to take part in mob lynching. In most cases, mob beating is also used as a weapon to take revenge on opponents.

Rights activist and former adviser to the caretaker government Advocate Sultana Kamal said it has been proved that rumors can harm the society in a horrific way. Recent mob lynching on rumors has created a dare situation in the country.

“To save our women and children rumors should be prevented in strict measures,” she added.

Issuing an warning, the Home Ministry said anyone getting involved in mob-beating or spreading child-lifting rumors would be dealt with iron hands. It also requested the people to call the police by dialing 999 to seek their assistance whenever they need it.

Professor Neem Chandra Bhowmik said recent phenomenon of child lifting rumors leading to lynching of several innocent people especially women were spread to impede construction of the Padma Bridge which is a nasty and dangerous propaganda.

He also urged the government, media and civil society to raise public awareness so that rumors of child abduction were ignored.

The distribution of leaflets, posters, public announcements over loudspeakers and the imams of every local mosque can play vital role to help create mass awareness, he added.

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