Alert Bangladeshi expatriates in Saudi Arabia have helped in nabbing a fugitive accused of killing a 13-year-old boy whose video footage of being beaten to death in Bangladesh caused widespread outrage. Labour Counsellor in Jeddah Mokammel Hossain said that Kamrul Islam was caught by embassy officials on the tip off by expatriates and later handed over to Saudi police.
Islam has been arrested for torturing teenage vegetable vendor Samiul Alam Rajan who was tied to a pole in Bangladesh and beaten up for nearly 30 minutes until he died. Rajan, son of a driver, screamed for help, cried for water and begged for his life while the killers laughed and jeered at him in the 28-minute video of the July 8 incident in Kumargaon of northeastern Sylhet Sadar Upazila following allegations that the teenager had stolen a rickshaw van.
“We got hold of the real culprit with the help of his employer (kofil) and he has confessed what he did,” a Bangladesh embassy official in Jeddah told a TV channel yesterday. The Bangladesh government imposed an embargo on Islam, who worked as a driver in Saudi Arabia, from leaving the country on Sunday. However, locals said Islam fled to Saudi soon after his brother Muhith Alam was detained for killing Rajan.
Bangladesh embassy officials said they stormed Islam’s makeshift refuge after fellow expatriates tracked him down there and informed the mission. Later he was handed over to the Saudi police. They detained Islam who was then handed over to Jeddah police for temporary confinement while steps are already underway to send him back home.
His elder brother, Alam, was chased and caught by the locals, is already in custody. A manhunt is underway to nab others. State minister for foreign affairs Shahriar Alam, who is now in Saudi Arabia to attend Prince Saud Al-Faisal’s funeral, earlier requested Bangladeshi expatriates and instructed embassy officials to be on the lookout for Islam presuming he could have sneaked in Jeddah, his workplace.
Rights groups and different social and cultural organisations continue to stage protests in Dhaka and at the scene of the crime in Sylhet. The police, meanwhile, detained two bystanders who watched as the boy was clubbed to death last week, while one of them is believed to have grabbed the pictures to be posted on the Facebook to entertain his friends.