An overview on crimes during Covid-19 pandemic in Bangladesh
Amit Kumar Dev:
Crimes can be described as the illegal act or illegal omission punishable by law in force. Criminologists says that there are biological, sociological & psychological reasons behind committing a crime. Crimes are increasing in an alarming way in the world due to the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic & Bangladesh is no exception at all. Many people have become jobless for the pandemic here in Bangladesh. We are already observing that crime rates have gone up & can be predicted that it isn’t decreasing anytime soon for the constant rise of Covid 19 cases.
According to various reports, there have been increasing about four to six types of crimes. They are – rape, snatching, extortion, cybercrimes, juvenile delinquency etc. People are becoming impatient for various reasons. Experts have opinions that many daily wage earners most hit by the pandemic are becoming involved in criminal activities and also as the educational institutions are closed for a long time, youngsters are getting involved in committing crimes to a great extent.
The amount of cybercrime has increased alarmingly as the educational institutions are closed for a long time according to various sources. People are getting used to online shopping for the lockdown & some people are being deceived in a regular basis. It is found out that cybercrimes & cyber bulling are occurring by using social medias. Criminals are using YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter recklessly to commit these crimes & they are targeting mostly the girls and women. A survey shows that 68% of them are girls & women. Criminals are doing this by misusing the technology. According to the Cyber Crime Awareness Foundation, only 22% people get justice after complaining about cybercrimes, 72% doesn’t get any justice even after complaining. Only 21.43% complain about cybercrimes after becoming a victim. Reports also say that 28.31% people’s social medias were hacked to commit cybercrimes. It was also shown that cyber bullying is increased by using pornography. Now it is 7.69% but previously it was 6.5%. According to the chief of Ministry of Telecommunication, Abdul Jabbar, only government initiative is not enough for perfect cyber culture. For this, authority & NGO should work side by side.
The amount of rape has also increased alarmingly during the pandemic. According to Ain O Salish Kendra(ASK), from January to July there has been 818 rape cases recorded, there were 31 deaths after the rape, 183 attempts to rape &8 committed suicide after the rape, 147 women were murdered by their husbands in domestic violence. We should worry about the fact that most of them were girls. Experts says that most of them committing these are mostly addicted to drugs & people living in high society. These are happening much at this time because there is lack of justice. According to advocate Salma Ali, there is lack of justice in almost every aspect of the society & thus people can roam freely even after committing these crimes.
Snatching has also increased in the time of pandemic. Police officials says that many people have lost jobs due to the pandemic. They are snatching because of living or to fulfil their wishes. As they can get bail easily even after getting caught by police, we are not able to stop it in a greater way. Most of the people committing this crime are youngsters. They are snatching from women, aged people & children. A very recent example can be snatching the mobile phone from Planning Minister from Bijoy Sarani signal of the capital Dhaka. His phone was recovered almost one and half month later of the incident. People are committing these crimes easily because the roads are now almost empty for the pandemic & hence criminals are using this opportunity very cleverly. This crime is mostly happening at Shahbagh, Farmgate, Jatrabari, Bijoy Sarani &Panthapath of the capital. Police catch them but after getting bailed very easily they commit these crimes again.
As the educational institutions are closed for a long time, juvenile delinquency has become a fact of worry. They are committing various crimes by using internet in this pandemic. They are using mostly Facebook &Tiktok. As a result, Bangladesh could soon ban apps like PUBG Mobile, Tiktok, Freefire. Recently, 12 youths were caught by RAB-1 for attacking a family in Gazipur. Most of the youths were also in drug dealing, snatching, eve teasing. RAB-1 said in a press briefing that though they were youths they were committing crimes like professionals. According to the chief of National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Dr.Bidhan Ranjan Roy Poddar, youths are getting involved in these crime because they have the easy access of using internet. According to the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), there were 18 murders in the capital in April, compared to seven in March and 12 in February. Meanwhile, 13 mugging incidents were reported in April, up from eight in the previous two months each.
Writer: Student, Department of Law & Human Rights, University of Asia Pacific.