Bangladeshi youngster's fatal beating goes viral

DHAKA (AFP) - Bangladesh police were hunting a group of attackers on Monday who lashed a 13-year-old boy to a stake and then beat him to death, filming the onslaught on a smart phone.

The 28-minute video, in which the boy is seen begging for water as he lay dying in the northeastern city of Sylhet, has sparked huge protests in Bangladesh since it went viral on social media over the weekend.

Police said an autopsy on the boy who has been named Samiul Alam Rajon had revealed scores of injuries all over his body, including on the head and chest. He died due to internal bleeding.

"Samiul Alam Rajon died on July 8 as a result of merciless beating," local police chief Alamgir Hossain told AFP.

"His body had at least 64 injuries including in the head."

Junior home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said police had arrested two people in connection with the killing and were looking for four others.

"They will be arrested and given tough punishment," Kamal told reporters.

The chief suspect, Muhit Alam, was remanded into custody for five days by a court in Sylhet on Monday after police pressed murder charges.

Police said the attackers tied Samiul, a part-time vegetable seller who dropped out of school to help his impoverished family, to a pole for allegedly committing a burglary - a charge his family vehemently denies.

"My son is not a thief. Everyone knows it. I want justice for my child's murder," Samiul's mother Lubna Aktar told reporters.

In the video, the terrified youngster can be heard screaming in pain and saying repeatedly: "Please don't beat me like this, I will die."

Samiul's attackers can be heard on the video trying to force him to confess his involvement in the burglary, according to an AFP journalist.

He was at one stage told to walk away but as he tried to get to his feet, one of the attackers shouted: "His bones are okay. Beat him some more."

When the youngster begged for water, he was mocked and told to "drink your sweat" by his attackers who can be heard discussing the idea of posting the video on Facebook so "everyone can see the fate of a thief".

Alam was arrested as he was seen trying to dump the body in an isolated area of the city.

Hundreds of people formed a human chain earlier Monday outside Samiul's home to protest over the killing which prompted widespread soul-searching on social media about the prevalence of violence in Bangladesh.

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