Bangladesh: 10 year-old child labour tortured to death in sweat shop


Dhaka, Bangladesh (CNN)Bangladesh police arrested a manager of a textile mill Monday in connection with the brutal killing of a 10-year-old boy as hundreds of people took to the streets in a suburb of Dhaka to protest the slaying.

Sagar Barman, a child laborer at the mill, died in a hospital Sunday after co-workers pumped air into his body by inserting a compressor hose into his rectum and turning on the machine, officials said. It was the second such killing in the country in the past year.

“It’s still under investigation. The boy was admitted with unusually bloated stomach and he had fatal injuries inside the stomach caused by air pressure,” AKM Shafiuzzaman, an assistant professor of forensic medicine of Dhaka Medical College Hospital, told reporters after conducting a post-mortem examination Monday.

The incident occurred at a textile mill in Rupganj, on the outskirts of the Bangladesh capital.

The boy may have been targeted because of co-workers’ personal enmity with his father, Ismail Hossain, officer-in-charge of Rupganj police, told CNN.

The boy’s father, Ratan Barman, who is also an employee at the mill, filed a case with Rupganj police naming four officials of the mill in his son’s death and accusing six others who were unnamed, Hossain said.

“A unit manager of the mill, Nazmul Huda, has been arrested and he is being interrogated in custody while the other accused are on the run,” Hossain told CNN. After the arrest police raided the mill and rescued 27 child workers, he said.

Meanwhile, hundreds of factory workers demonstrated in the nearby suburb of Narayanganj, demanding punishment for Sagar’s killers. They carried placards and banners urging authorities to take effective measures to stop oppression of workers, especially children.

The killing was the latest in a recent string of gruesome, deadly attacks on children in Bangladesh.

Last year, a 12-year-old boy was killed in the same way in a vehicle workshop in Khulna. Authorities said Rakib Hawlader died August 3 after being tortured by his former employer who was angry because Rakib took a job at another car repair shop.

Two men were sentenced to death for the murder, which sparked protests across the country.

In another notorious case last year, public protests broke out after the July 8 killing of Samiul Alam Rajon, 13, was recorded and posted on social media.

A video clip shows the boy tied to a post and beaten with a metal rod while his attackers laugh and jeer during the attack in Kumargaon, on the outskirts of Sylhet. The victim’s pleas for mercy, or just a glass of water, were ignored by his attackers. Four men were arrested and sentenced to death for the killing.

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