A gang of muggers posing as passengers and bus staffers mugged a boy and shoved him off the moving vehicle in Sitakunda upazila in the wee hours of yesterday.
Victim Elias Hossain Emon got into a Kumira-bound bus from the port city's Olongkar intersection around 12:00am. He was going to his relative's house at Kumira in Sitakunda. In the bus, there were eight other people, including a helper and a driver, said highway police, quoting Elias.
The suspects have been arrested.
The bus started moving and after a short while, seven except the driver came to him and gagged him with a traditional towel. They then took away his belongings, including cash and mobile phones, and pushed him off near Tobacco gate on Dhaka-Chittagong highway in Sitakunda.
Sixteen-year-old Emon, who was injured in the incident, is lucky enough as he escaped death. A car driver who incidentally witnessed the incident helped police arrest the eight criminals.
Elias is a class-X student at Gopalpur Ali Haidar High School in Noakhali's Begumganj upazila. He was visiting the city.
The arrestees, aged between 14 and 21, are Md Ibrahim, Al Amin, Ariful Islam, Samsul Haque Arman, Md Rakib, Md Masud, Md Rabiul, and Md Mohim, the highway police said.
“The arrestees are transport workers and they used to work as drivers and helpers in buses plying between Sitakunda and Chittagong city,” said Rafique Ahamed Mazumder, traffic inspector at Faujdarhat highway police outpost, adding that the muggers were handed over to Sitakunda police.
Quoting Elias, Sergeant Saiful Islam of the outpost said he first sat beside the driver's seat and later one of the muggers asked him to sit in the back.
When he sat there, the muggers first gagged him and started beating him up, said Saiful.
Traffic Inspector Rafique told The Daily Star that when the muggers pushed Elias off the bus, a car driver noticed it and started chasing the bus and managed to block the vehicle by placing his car in front of it near Faujdarhat police outpost. Bus driver Ibrahim was arrested then.
Police later arrested seven others with the help of locals and admitted Elias to a Sitakunda hospital, said Sergeant Saiful.
A case was filed against the eight arrestees with Sitakunda Police Station.