Monday, 22 January, 2018, 3:55 PM
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Deal harshly with police becoming devils

Published : Thursday, 11 January, 2018 at 12:00 AM Count : 96

A high official of Bangladesh police, DMP Additional Commissioner Mizanur Rahman, has been withdrawn from service on Tuesday on charges of allegedly abducting a woman, holding her in confinement, abusing sexually and forcibly marrying in what it demonstrated just one piece of barbarity and excesses done by the country's prime security force.
As this "dastardly" act was revealed, the "beast" has been initially taken off the force while the authorities launched an investigation prior to confirming his guilt and awarding appropriate punishment. But many feel this "repeatedly used" process is sometimes used to hide the culprit from public eyes and focus of media and society -- while the charges "neutralize" also under police's quest.
Such incidents are not rare in Bangladesh where police are supposed to be friends and the saviour of the common people for which the government recognized their gallantry and valour by offering awards to the top performing officers and men.
Such awards are usually handed over during annual Police Week celebrations. Fifty-eight officers have been listed for receiving awards in the 2018 Police Week being held now and more will be given a promotion and added privileges. But the question is, whether the rogue police officers and constables would be subjected to exemplary punishment like life imprisonment and even tougher penalty (considering the nature of the crime) or just be removed from service?
The image of police in Bangladesh is generally not bright rather plastered with a thick layer of mistrust and fear because of their atrocities and torture of people who refuse to pay perk, complaint against misbehave or merely coming to the law enforcers for seeking justice. Police's revenge is stated to be the worst as they use their legal protection against any abuse.
Not only officers like Mizanur but media on Tuesday reported that several policemen were detained in Khulna for stalking school girls. Police are nowadays viewed more like predators than assistance provider because they randomly misuse their legal right to detain, arrest or torture anyone in the name of interrogation, remand and for whatever or no reason at all. Often they do it for fun.
Anyone visiting any police station in Dhaka in the evening or night would find many women among the detainees or those coming to lodge complaints or doing "tadbir" in a variety of cases. But some officers quiz them until they give in to their odd proposals, it is also alleged.
DIG Mizanur's victim Morium Akter Eko alleged that he also framed her in a false case and put into jail where from she obtained bail recently. Then she reached to the media and narrated her story.
If the allegation proves true, it will constitute a first degree crime and deserve top punishment. Just removing him from the police force or placing him in any other agency would be fairly unjust. The authorities should enforce the constitutional edict that "law is for everyone and no one is above the law." Otherwise, people would start rooming away at the very sight of police instead of approaching them for assistance.
Police also misuse information they collect from people like names, address, phone numbers and details of the inhabitants including house maid and driver. Bad officers use the information to blackmail the individuals, claim money from them and threaten to abduct or even kill in cross fire unless they follow the instruction. Such allegations are recorded in plenty but again by police as the first hand help to the helpless people.
In her Police Week address, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina repeated the plea for police to become friends of the people and improve service to them. We hope that the police will pay heed to the PM's advice.

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Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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