Friday, July 12, 2019

Heads & Blood Used in Bridge Construction (Bangladesh 2019)

Similar rumors erupted in Bangladesh in the summer of 2010. In that scare, it was believed that children’s heads were being used as a foundation sacrifice for the newly built Shah Amanat Bridge over the Karnaphuli River. [Bangladesh]
12 July 2019

Hasina orders hunt for culprits spreading Padma Bridge ‘human head’ rumours

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has ordered officials to track down the people who have spread the rumour that “human heads and blood are required” for the piling work of Padma Bridge. The perpetrators will face exemplary punishment for trying to create panic, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader told the media at a function in Dhaka on Thursday. […] “The opposition party is trying to mislead the people by spreading rumours, having failed in elections and agitations. For what else should such a weird, unbelievable idea that ‘human heads, blood will be needed to construct the Padma Bridge’ be spread on social media?” the Awami League general secretary asked. […]

Dhaka Tribune [Bangladesh]
12 July 2019

6 held for spreading rumour over Padma Bridge construction

The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has arrested six people on allegation of spreading rumour over Padma Bridge construction. […] [Bangladesh]
13 July 2019

Bangladesh arrests eight over ‘human heads, blood for Padma Bridge’ rumours

Security personnel in Bangladesh have arrested eight people on charges of spreading rumours on Facebook that “human heads and blood are required to build the Padma Bridge”. Besides arresting three, police in Chandpur rescued as many others from mobs that were beating them on suspicion that they were abductors. […] Arman [Hossain] uploaded photos of Padma Bridge, cut-off heads and blood on Facebook from Monday. “Just received news – truth, not rumour, Padma Bridge wants blood, over one hundred families flee homes, Padma Bridge work is shutting down for the lack of blood, four missing – panicked villagers flee, caught red-handed during theft,” Arman wrote in the posts, according to the RAB official. […] [Bangladesh]
13 July 2019

RAB arrests Jamalpur man for spreading rumours over Padma Bridge

Rapid Action Battalion, or RAB, has arrested a man in Jamalpur for allegedly circulating rumours regarding Padma Bridge on social media. The miscreant, identified as Forkan Hossain, […] called on the roads transport and bridges minister to sacrifice his own head for the bridge before taking children’s heads. […]
18 July 2019

Mob lynches Netrokona man carrying ‘severed head’ of child

A man has been beaten to death by an angry mob after allegedly being caught with the ‘severed head’ of a child stuffed in his bag. The lynching took place in the town’s New Town area around 1pm on Thursday, said Netrokona Model Police OC Tajul Islam. […] OC Tajul said, “This has nothing to do with the rumours of human heads being needed for the construction of Padma Bridge. We have found out that the deceased youth was a drug addict. We are trying to find out the motive behind the incident.”

The Daily Star [Bangladesh]

23 July 2019

The frenzy of an angry, misguided mob

Aasha Mehreen Amin

[…] A few days ago, three different individuals related to me the same absurd tale: a bizarre practice of human sacrifice apparently taking place (in this day and age) near our under-construction Padma Bridge! It sounded like something out of a ghoulish ancient legend—a mysterious structure, in this case a bridge, requiring human blood in order to make it sturdy. Admittedly, the three accounts were from simple folks who were prone to believing any strange gossip they were told. My first reaction was extreme annoyance at the preposterousness of the story. But then, strangely enough, two more people, a cook and a homeworker, related almost identical theories. The strange part was that one had heard this from a relative in Faridpur and another in Kishoreganj and another in Barishal. The stories were being spread by word of mouth but also through social media. […]

Dhaka Tribune
24 July 2019

IGP: Rumour on Padma Bridge linked to anti-govt parties

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Md Javed Patwary has said rumours that are being spread regarding Padma Bridge are linked to anti-government political parties. “A vested quarter is now intentionally spreading such rumours to create an unstable situation in Bangladesh,” he said while speaking to the media at Police Headquarters in Dhaka on Wednesday. […]

The Daily Star
26 July 2019

Rumours and mob killings: What are the underlying causes?

Mohammad Tareq Hasan

[…] The basis of the rumour is an age-old myth regarding human sacrifice needed for construction of sturdy structures (e.g. bridges). Of course, the myth (or urban myth) is not unique to Bangladesh. Similar urban myths are found in different countries of Asia, Africa, or even Europe. Part of the myth concerns the use of human sacrifice for some desired outcome. If we want to ask, “why has this resurfaced in Bangladesh now”, anthropological literature may give us a head-start in that investigation. […]

Dhaka Tribune
27 July 2019

B Chy: Padma Bridge rumours politically motivated

AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury, former president and president of Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh (BDB) has said there is political motive behind the rise in crimes and social unrest regarding Padma Bridge rumour. […] “The conspirators are spreading rumours with a political motive that human heads are necessary for Padma Bridge’s construction,” he said. […]

[Politicians and the police are no less susceptible to conspiracy theories than the public, and authorities may seek an organized source of rumors where perhaps none exists.]

The New Nation
28 July 2019

Padma Bridge superstition Chinese style was the wrong style for us

It's a sad story of a multi-billion dollar Padma Multipurpose Bridge. Already some lives have been lost for believing in Chinese superstition of giving animal blood for their success in finishing the project. […] It was a dangerous practice or superstition, whatever the term may be used, to borrow from another country a practice which could be abused to make some simple minded people to believe that if blood of living beings are necessary for successful completion of a very important project like Padma Bridge children blood might also be required by that country's superstition. […]

The Daily Star
10 March 2015

Padma Bridge
Work starts in Chinese style

The test piling of the Padma Bridge project began yesterday with the project officials sacrificing animals as per Chinese ritual. Officials of the China Major Bridge Engineering Company Ltd sacrificed two black bulls, two goats and two chickens on the occasion of the test piling and let the blood flow in the water on the Mawa side of the project in Munshiganj. […] “They [the Chinese builders] were repeatedly requesting us to start the test piling this way [through sacrificing animals]. We told them not to do so. But they did not listen to us,” said a senior official, preferring anonymity. “Finally, we had to allow them, but we also ensured that the animals were slaughtered according to Islamic laws,” he said, adding that no Bangladeshi senior officials of the project joined the programme on “religious” ground. […]

Dhaka Tribune
1 August 2019

Man held for spreading rumour in Ctg

Police in Chittagong detained a man, identified as Md Alamgir, on charges of spreading a rumour of child abduction. […] Alamgir was detained on Wednesday from a house in the Nazirhat neighbourhood of the Fatikchhari upazilla in Chittagong. The man in custody reportedly made a video which shows children were being abducted and sacrificed in order to build the Padma Bridge, one of Bangladesh's biggest infrastructure projects. Later, he circulated the video on Facebook urging the parents and guardians not to send their children to school. […]

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