Gangs of teenage boys have become active again in Uttara area of Dhaka. Using the social networking platform Facebook, the gang members are threatening each other of violence.
The gang members are posting photos and messages in their Facebook groups to declare their presence in their neighbourhood. Some of the members were seen asking their rivals to “come forward instead of shouting on social media”.
A status posted by the Disco Boys on September 25 read: “Disco Boys is in Uttara again.” The status also had emojis of a pistol, a knife and a bomb.
Meanwhile, on October 10, another gang named 9 Star Boys Uttara, posted a status on their Facebook page saying:
“What’s up people? Guess what, 9 Star (we) are back again.”
The status preaches peace in Uttara, but a gang member commented that the game has begun.
The 9 Star Boys also posted an image showing the apprehended suspects of Adnan murder case with lyrics of a popular Hindi song saying “friendship is forever”.
Both Disco Boys and 9 Star Boys frequently post comments provoking and threatening each other.
On September 1, Disco Boys Uttara posted a status that read: “RIP 9 Star slum dwellers, only Disco Boys is king.”
The same page made a post, tagging a number of national newspapers, saying: “When the administration is silent, the police can be bought and no one protests unlawful activities. Are we to be blamed for taking the law in our own hands?”
Meanwhile, one of the suspects of the sensational Adnan murder case, Nafiz Alam Don in a post on September 23, said: “I don’t talk much, I just pull the trigger.”
Addressing the issue, Uttara West Police Station Inspector Abdur Razzak told the Bangla Tribunes: “Those involved with the murder of Adnan has been arrested. We have also implemented an awareness raising programme in schools and colleges to prevent reoccurrence of that incident.”
The police official added he has no evidence that suggests that gang culture has reemerged in Uttara.
DMP Uttara Division Deputy Commissioner Joydev Krishna Bhadra echoed the same opinion.
He said: “We do not have any information indicating recent gang activity in Uttara. We have not received any complaints about a Facebook group threatening another. We will look into the matter once a formal complaint is filed.”
Sources said despite majority of the gang members being teenage boys, men aged 16 to 25 are also being accepted as members. These gangs regularly engage in unlawful activities like harassing other students, verbally abusing female students, using illegal drugs and mugging.
The gang members also frequently fight members of rival gangs.
On January 6, teenagers' gang Disco Boys attacked the members of another such group 9 Star at Sector 13 in Uttara with sharp weapons and hockey sticks.
Adnan Kabir, a ninth grader and a 9 Star gang member, was critically injured and died when taken to a local hospital. After the death, the schoolboy’s father Kabir Hossain lodged a case with Uttara West police station naming nine and accusing 10 to 12 unidentified people.
Some of the arrestees confessed that 9 Star gang leader Raju was their original target, not Adnan.
Following Adnan’s murder, most members of Uttara’s gangs became inactive. However, since August, some of the gangs have again started their activities.
More than 30 gangs sprung up in Uttara and its surrounding areas since 2001. Among them, Kakra Group, G Unit Group, Black Rose Group, Disco Boys Group, 9 Star Group and 9MM Boys Group are currently some of the active gangs in the area.
This article was first published on Bangla Tribune.