Their scantily lungi-clad young bodies bear the hallmark of unimaginable cruelty.
The two minors were tied to a tree, their bodies coiled with ropes. And as if that were not enough, their tormentor tied their hands separately with ropes and their feet with iron shackles.
They were kept that way for nearly six hours. And when they cried for water, dead snails were pushed into their mouths. Their pleas for release were met with slaps in their faces.
They underwent all this torture just because they removed a fence in front of the perpetrator's house in Shyamnagar upazila of Satkhira.
The incident happened on July 16, but it came to light after a photo of the torture was published in a local newspaper yesterday.
Police arrested Golam Mostafa Morol, the alleged culprit, from his house.
It comes as a chilling reminder of the gruesome murder of 13-year-old Rajon in Sylhet early this month for allegedly trying to seal a rickshaw. In
another incident, also early this month, two minor girls of a government orphanage in Barisal were subjected to corporal punishment because they wanted to go home.
The victims in Satkhira are Nasim Tarafder, 9, son of Abdul Hamid Tarafder of Joynagar village, and Yasin Tarafder, 8, son of Ismail Tarafder of the neighbouring house.
Golam Mostafa of the same village is a supplier of labourers.
Locals said the Kashimari Union Council recently constructed a road that connected Mostafa's home. To protect the portion of the road that led to his house from damage, Mostafa erected a fence so that people cannot walk through that portion for the time being.
Around 6:30am on July 16, Nasim, a class four student, and Yasin, a class three student, injured themselves as they tumbled onto the fence made of date palm leaves that have thick, sharp thorns. They then removed the fence, said the victims and witnesses.
Mostafa, aged about 50, instantly caught them, tied their hands with ropes and took them inside his homestead. There, he tied them with ropes and iron shackles and kept them standing from 7:00am to 12:30pm.
“When we felt like some water and wanted it, he [Mostafa] pushed dead snails into their mouths,” Nasim told this correspondent yesterday.
“He slapped us whenever we wanted to drink water or requested him to set us free,” he added.
Nasim's father Abdul Hamid said they came to know about the incident around 10:30am. Hamid's elderly mother then went to Mostafa's house and pleaded with him to free the boys.
“My mother even accepted that the boys made a mistake. She also told him [Mostafa] that they didn't eat anything since morning. She even promised to fix the fence,” said Hamid.
But Mostafa did not pay any heed to her request. Instead, his wife drove her away, beating, added Hamid, who filed a case in this regard yesterday.
Later, Mostafa's son Golam Hossain released the boys following an earnest request of Nasim's mother around 12:30pm, he said.
Before his arrest around 12:30pm yesterday, Mostafa told this correspondent, “These boys removed the fence taking it for a fun. That's why I tied them up. But I didn't beat them.”
A correspondent of local newspaper Patradoot said he took photos of the torture on July 16.
The paper published one of those photos yesterday after the Eid vacation.
Enamul Haque, officer-in-charge of Shyamnagar Police Station, said they acted immediately to arrest Mostafa after they came to know of the torture.