Social conflicts and violence increased amid COVID-19 situation

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DHAKA, Apr 17, 2020 (BSS) – The trend of social conflict, protest and
violence in Bangladesh has been increasing since COVID-19 hit the country
early March this year.

From March 10 to April 30, the country witnessed some 1416 incidences of
social conflict, disputes and violence in 64 districts that cost 39 lives and
left 486 people injured.

Among them, 1069 incidents took place in April which is 75% of total while
347 in March, according to a recent survey conducted by Aynul Islam,
Associate Professor of DU political science department.

The study found 379 reported incidents of dispute for breaking social
distancing rule and 310 of corruption and irregularities related to food,
relief and health equipment distribution during this period.

Some 163 incidents were connected to assault, harassment and violence
against women while 139 incidences were clash and attack over dispute related
to COVID-19.

A total of 105 incidences were connected to infodemic or information
disorder all over the country, the survey found after scrutinising the news
stories of local and national newspapers.

Chittagong, Barishal and Habiganj are the highest ranking districts where
89, 61, and 58 incidents took place respectively.

The study was conducted by the Microgovernance Research Initiative of Dhaka
University, with the support from the International Foundation for Electoral
Systems (IFES) and UKAID.