Social media swept by video of child being beaten to death in Bangladesh

A video clip of a 13-year-old boy brutally tortured to death in Sylhet has gone viral on the internet, creating a firestorm on the social media.

Manjur Ahmed Sylhet
Published : 12 July 2015, 12:38 PM
Updated : 15 July 2015, 11:19 AM

It was evident from conversations in the shocking 28-minute footage that one of his suspected assailants filmed.

On July 8, Samiul Alam Rajan was beaten to death on accusations of stealing a rickshaw van at Kumargaon of Sylhet Sadar Upazila. 

Rajan, who had studied up to grade four at a local primary school, was a vegetable vendor. His father Sheikh Azizur Rahman is a driver.

Locals caught one Muhith Alam, 22, while he was taking the body to dump in a microbus and turned him over to police on Jul 8.

Police have filed a case against four, including Alam, over the murder.

The others accused are Alam’s brother Kamrul Islam, 24, Ali Haider, 34 and Moyna Mia, 45.

The video shows the boy tied up to a pole of a shop at Kumargaon Bus Station. Two people can be seen, but voices of at least three to four people can be heard.

One of the men is seen beating Rajan, asking him to tell his name, admit that he stole the van and tell who else were involved.

Samiul Alam Rajan, 13, was branded a ‘thief’ and beaten to death in Sylhet’s Kumargaon. A photo taken from a YouTube video.

In the footage, the boy is seen being beaten with a stick for almost 16 minutes at a stretch. When Rajan wants some water, the men tell him to drink his own sweat.

Rajan screams while his tormentors burst into laughter and swear at him in the 28-minute clip. His left hand and right leg are wrung and the head, stomach and nails hit with the stick.

At one stage, the men walk Rajan with his hands untied. “His bones are apparently intact, beat him more…” one of them is heard saying.

Then, he is tied once again to the pole and thrashed. Rajan asks them to hand him over to police, when one of them replied: “I am the police.”

A voice asks the man who was filming the torture whether it was being captured properly.

“I have posted it in Facebook. The whole world will see it now…” replied the man on the camera.

Towards the end of the video, a voice is heard asking the others what else needs to be done.

Another voice replies, “Let go of him after doing what Mama (uncle) told us to do.”

It’s not clear who the voice was referring to as uncle.

Local police said they had heard of the footage and that they spoke with some people who saw it.

The assailants captured the fatal assault on Rajan on mobile and uploaded it on internet for all to see. A photo taken from a YouTube video.

“It seems that the four named in the case are all involved in the killing. We have sought to remand Muhith for seven days to question him about the entire incident,” said Jalalabad Police Station OC Akter Hossain.

Arrested Alam is from Sheikhparha village of the Upazila. His brother Kamrul Islam is also accused in the case filed by police.

Islam lives in Saudi Arabia and returned to Bangladesh a few days ago.

OC Hossain said they took steps to stop Islam from fleeing the country.

Rajan’s father Azizur Rahman said the boy would sell vegetables on rickshaw van to bring money to the family when he (Azizur) could not drive the microbus.

His family came to know about the incident on July 8 when they went to police after their son had gone missing.

Rajan’s mother Lubna Akter went to the local police to file a complaint, when she heard that a boy’s body was found and identified it as that of Rajan.
“Everyone in this area knows that my son was not a thief. I want justice for him,” said the mother.