Take urgent steps to uproot teenage gangsters
According to media reports, around 40 teenage gangs have raised their heads in the capital, whereas in the port city of Chattogram, approximately a hundred gangs are active. These gangs are involved in all kinds of criminal activities, such as murder, stalking, rape, assaulting innocent citizens etc. These crimes are mostly operated under the patronage of local ruling party leaders whom they consider as influential 'Big Brothers'. In the last four months, over a dozen people have reportedly been killed by juvenile gangsters. The killings are to ring the alarm bell.
This is extremely worrying that even in this unprecedented time of crisis teen gangs are rearing up their heads. On last September, Nila Roy, a 10th grader, was stabbed to death in Savar by Mizan, a 12th grader and a teenage member of the renowned "Shakil and Sakib" gang. Shakil and Sakib are sons of a local influential Awami League leader, operating under their father's influence and power to shield their crimes. Local witnesses reported that different members of this gang were involved in unscrupulous activities particularly in Savar.
By any means, we do not have any excuse to underestimate juvenile crimes. There have been plenty of examples in the recent past. The recent gang-rape in Noakhali's Begumganj that outraged the entire nation was also committed by a youth gang named "Delwar Bahini". Reportedly, at least two dozen such gangs operate with 'blessings' from some ruling party leaders in Begumganj alone.
Many such crimes are being carried out by teenage gang members in the capital and all across the country. Clearly, none of the gangs could exist without the patronage of their political heads.
We have reiterated in our previous editorials that the law enforcers must identify the gangs and remain vigilant against their activities, in order to rid our society of gang culture. But we have not witnessed any effective measures adopted in this regard.
However, we should emphasise more on establishing social control other than engaging the law enforcers in particualr. The state and society should work together to engage boys in productive activities through organizing youth clubs. They must get moral education from their family members and education institutions. We need to engage them in cultural activities such as art and literature to help them grow aesthetic minds. Creativity can surely demolish delinquency. All we need to do is find their potentials and utilize them in nation building.
Furthermore, political patronization should be stopped. In fact, political leaders, who are using teens to control communities or areas, must be held accountable for either creating or encouraging gang culture. It is time to urgently address the gangster dilemma.