Organised criminals and notorious doping gangs, popularly known as ‘Aggyan party’, have become active in the capital and its outskirts ahead of Ramadan, causing panic among city people.
Sources said the criminals roam around crowded places like bus and launch terminals and railway stations in the city and loot money or other valuables from people by making them unconscious.
Incidents of looting money or valuables by making people unconscious have marked a sharp rise recently. Doping gang members use sedatives and ointment to make their prey temporarily blind and unconscious, according to police.
Last week, a middle-aged man was taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) in an unconscious state.The on-duty doctors declared him dead and his body was kept in DMCH morgue for autopsy.
Faruq Hossain, an assistant sub-inspector of Gulistan Sergeant Ahad Police Box, said the unidentified man fell unconscious while he was on way to Dhaka.
The victim was a passenger of Joypara Paribahan from Konakhola of Keraniganj. As he reached near Gulistan, police took him to DMCH in an unconscious state.
Within just two hours till Thursday evening, at least five people fell prey to such gang and lost their valuables.
Four of them are still undergoing treatment at DMCH. They are identified as Shah Alam, 35, a wood trader of Tongibari in Munshiganj, Sumon, an employee of a private company, Shahidul Huq, 55, a marketing executive of Dada Match Factory, and Kamal Hossain, 45.
Of them, Shah Alam lost Tk 4 lakh while Kamal lost Tk 3 lakh and Sumon several thousand.
Shah Alam was taken to DMCH from Gulistan area in an unconscious state while Sumon from Kakrail area, Shahidul from Mohakhali and Kamal Hossain from Kamalapur area.
According to DMCH record, at least a dozen people, including some traders, fell victims to doping gangs and lost their cash money and other valuables in the last one week till Friday.
An intelligence official said over 200 members, including good-looking women belonging to about 20 organised doping gangs, are active in the capital and its outskirts — Tongi, Savar, Keraniganj and Siddhirganj areas.
Taking advantage of the situation, the gangsters snatch cash money, gold ornaments, mobile phone sets and other valuables feeding sedative-mixed food to their targeted persons.
Besides, the gangsters snatch taxicabs and CNG-run auto-rickshaws by mixing sedatives with the food items of drivers.
Traders, passengers of buses, drivers of taxicabs and CNG-run auto-rickshaws, and rickshaw-pullers mostly fall prey to the doping gangs, according to the physicians and employees at DMCH
According to detective branch (DB) sources, every group comprising four-member moves together from Aminbazar to Narayanganj and Sadarghat to Tongi, traps their targets and snatches their belongings.
On many occasions, the gangsters use beautiful girls to trap their targets to make their missions a success.
These groups are mainly active in different crowded areas like Gabtali bus terminal, Mohakhali bus terminal, Sayedabad bus terminal, Kamalapur railway station and Sadarghat launch terminal.
The gangs are also active in the city’s busiest and most commercial areas, including Motijheel, Gulistan, Mohakhali, Shahbagh, Paltan, Dainik Bangla, Khilgaon Railgate, Gulshan, Mirpur and Banani areas.
The criminals first target a person and then somehow feed the target sedative mixed with water, biscuits or other food items, including coconut water.
A physician said most of the victims normally regain their sense within 24 hours of the occurrence. On some occasions, the victims who consume excessive sedative-mixed food items lose their lives.
Deputy Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Masudur Rahman said a large number of law enforcers — both in uniform and plainclothes — are working in the city to catch criminals as well as the so-called Aggyan party men.
DMP Commissioner Asaduzzaman Miah recently visited different bus terminals and organised public meetings to make people aware of the menace — described by police as ‘Molom Party’ and ‘Aggyan Party.’