Mobile phones fuel social crimes

The mobile phone has made it easier to operate. Social crimes, including trafficking of women and children, are rising fast thanks to the spread of mobile telephony, social scientists and rights activists said.

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The latest crime committed with the help of mobile phones, took place on Saturday in the city. A boy, who developed a relationship with a teenage girl through a mobile phone, finally killed her, slicing the body into 26 pieces. Sahiduzzaman Bacchu, the killer, said he had kept in touch with the sixteen-year old girl through a mobile phone for the past two years. Finally, on Saturday, Bacchu killed her as local people caught them in a private moment, in a room, and said they would marry them off.

Like this one, in a recent incident, a car driver named Sumon, posing himself as the owner of the car, tried to develop a relationship with the landlady of a nearby house through his mobile phone. The lady, however, was able to discover the real identity of the driver, and he was consequently sacked from his job.

The lady was lucky enough to trace the identity of the driver and escape his trap, but a large number of city women fall prey to such criminals.

Mentioning this crime, president of Centre for Women and Children Studies (CWCS), Ishrat Shamim, said: “Nowadays, mobile phones play an important role in most of the crimes such as children trafficking and sexual harassment.”

“Mobile phones are being used for preliminary introduction, communication, giving false information and deception. And the consequence is very dangerous,” Shamim said.

From the CWCS desk reports, The Independent learnt that Salma (fictitious name) had encountered Shafik during a Hindu puja festival. They exchanged their mobile phone numbers and developed a relationship, which later concluded in marriage.
One day Shafik took Salma to the house of his friend in a ploy to traffic her out of the country. She, however, smelt a rat and managed to flee and approach the nearby police station with the help of local people. Following the incident, Salma’s family and society refused to accept her. Later, she was given a shelter by the CWCS.

Experts say criminals are cheating people by giving false information through mobile phones. This is causing a lot of tensions in society. Mobile phone users, particularly girls, need to be careful while dealing with strangers over the mobile phone, they suggest.

Prof. Ishrat Shamim said the use of mobile phones was growing exponentially as a means of easy communication because of its cost-effectiveness. But, in turn, it is giving rise to incidents of sexual harassment, women and children trafficking, hijacking, robbery and other crimes in society, she added.

She also said the use of mobile phones would increase gradually, but there should be researches on how to protect society from its negative impacts.

About the bad effects of mobile phones on youths, Dhaka University (DU) sociology professor Dr Khandakar Mokaddem Hossain said youths, particularity students, were wasting their valuable time on mobile phones. The enhanced immoral use of the device is giving rise to social crimes, including sexual harassment, he added.

According to statistics of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), the number of mobile phone users till March 31, 2012 was about nine crore (89.457 million) in Bangladesh.

BTRC chairman Maj Gen (Retd) Zia Ahmed said users should have to be cautious about the negative impacts of mobile telephony, although this technology provided many facilities, such as Internet surfing and news viewing, besides health tips and many more valuable services.

The general secretary of the Association of Mobile Phone Operators Bangladesh (AMPOB), Abu Sayeed Khan, called upon social scientists to come forward and counsel people about the negative impacts of mobile telephony. They can create awareness among people by publishing data of their researches on this front, he suggested.

News Source: 
The Independent