'Ogyan Party' terror increases in holiday season
With Eid-ul-Azha knocking on the door, wallets are usually heavier with bonuses at work and money from livestock trading in the cattle markets across the capital.
This has led to a surge in the activities of the gangs which sedate their victims before mugging them clean.
At least 100 people have been attacked by these gangs known as "Ogyan Party" in the last five days, many of them being cattle traders.
No less than 21 such victims were admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital yesterday alone. Sources said 20 such patients were brought to Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital in the last five days.
The gangs have been making the victims unconscious by gagging them with chloroform-soaked cloth, or by mixing sedatives and such substances in their food or drink.
Cattle traders Rasel, 25, Abdur Rahman, 35, Abdul Khaleque, 36, Billal Hossain, 26, Aslam, 40, and Shamim, 35, currently taking treatment in DMCH, were attacked in a cattle market in Merul Badda.
The six, hailing from Pabna, had brought a herd of 22 cows to Dhaka. They ate dinner cooked in the market Saturday night, and fell unconscious soon afterwards. Fortunately, they were taken to DMCH before they could be robbed. Golam Rabbani, 43, and his 15-year-old son Mokhtar got admitted to DMCH Saturday.
They sold their only cow at Gabtoli for Tk 20,000 but the money was snatched.
They said unidentified people mixed something in their food which made them unconscious but neither could tell from where they got the food.
Such muggers also pretend to be street-side vendors and hawkers who sell food.
Aslam Miah, a supervisor of a printing press in Fatullah, now being treated in DMCH, fell unconscious after drinking coconut water bought from a vendor. He lost a mobile phone and Tk 1,600.
In raid on a Gabtoli hotel, Detective Branch of police caught a four-member doping gang Saturday.
"There are around 10 or 12 large gangs operating in and around Dhaka," said DB joint commissioner Monirul Islam at a press briefing on Sunday following the arrests.
Prof Mohammad Mujibur Rahman of Suhrawardy hospital said the chemicals used for causing unconsciousness could be deadly if the victims had heart complications, or if they were overdosed.