The law and order cabinet committee decided on Sunday that it would ask the government to lower the age limit for children to 18 to control the rise in youth crime in the country.
“Juvenile crimes have increased alarmingly, but the perpetrators cannot be brought to justice for age restriction. We have decided to lower the age limit,’ Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque told reporters after chairing the 8th cabinet committee meeting at the Home Ministry.
He said that the Minister of Justice was asked to analyze the laws and find a way to do this.
The closed meeting also discussed prevailing law and order, especially during Eid-ul-Azha which will be celebrated on July 10.
Currently, anyone under the age of 18 is considered a child, which is also supported by international laws, but its consequences and outlook are different here in Bangladesh; the government must therefore change the laws, said Mozammel, also chairman of the cabinet committee.
“My personal opinion is that the age limit for children should be set at 14 instead of the current 18,” he said.
Minister of Local Government Tazul Islam, Minister of Law Anisul Huq, Minister of Information Hasan Mahmud, Minister of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Imran Ahmad, Minister of industry Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun, Minister of Environment Shahab Uddin, Inspector General of Police Benazir Ahmed, among others were present. at the cabinet committee meeting.
Mozammel said young people in Bangladesh were more involved in crimes than adults, especially drug-related crimes; lowering the age limit would be a measure to be taken to reduce delinquency.
He argued that the definition of a child varied from country to country.
The Minister for Liberation War Affairs also said that the police have been asked to create a comprehensive database of criminals, so that the past records of all criminals can be easily traced.
“As convicted criminals remain in prison, database enrichment initiatives should start from there and later should cover all of them,” according to the minister.
In a recent incident, a 10th grade student at Haji Yunus Ali School and College in Ashulia, on the outskirts of the capital, attacked Utpal Kumar Sarker, a political science teacher at the school, with a stump during a cricket match. The teacher succumbed to his injuries two days later.
In another incident, a group of students forced a university principal to wear a shoe garland at Mirzapur United College in Narail sadar upazila on June 17.