A mob beat a schoolboy to death in front of his three siblings and grandmother in Gafargaon upazila of the district yesterday morning.
Lutfur Rahman Riad, 14, was a class-IX student of Ghagra Uthori Chhipan High School.
Police and locals said the attackers claimed that the boy was caught trying to break into a grocery store at Ghagra Uthori Tower Bazar, which is not far from his home.
Owner of the store Ashraful Islam told neighbours that he caught Riad around 6:30am. His brother Kamrul Islam, another store owner of the local market Abdur Rashid and several other residents of the neighbourhood then tied the boy to a tree and started beating him up, police said.
By 8:00am, the boy was dead and about 15 attackers fled the scene.
The victim's elder sister Neelful Nahar, a college student, said she, her two younger siblings and grandmother rushed to the scene after hearing from their neighbours that Riad was being beaten mercilessly.
“We tried to rescue him. But the attackers threatened us and hurled abuse at us....We then kept praying for his life. He was also asking them to let him go. But they didn't stop. It happened before our eyes,” the grieving sister told The Daily Star.
At one point the family members were forced to leave the scene.
She added that everyone in the mob led by Ashraful was their neighbour.
Her mother, who has speech impairment, was at her ancestral home at the time, she said.
Abdul Ahad Khan, officer-in-charge of Gafargaon Police Station, said there could be other motives behind the killing besides the attempted burglary.
Police learnt in primary investigation that there were about 15 attackers.
A case was filed in this connection by the victim's family. His father Saidur Rahman Shaheen is a Saudi expatriate.