High command seems unable to restrain errant personnel

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A section of the police are getting increasingly involved in different types of crime, which higher officials of the force seem unable to control except issuing warnings or forming probe bodies. A good number of police personnel were found involved with crime syndicates like drug smugglers, human traffickers, muggers and kidnappers in recent times. Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia recently warned all his officers in a letter that he had evidence that a section of police personnel were engaged in crimes like narcotics trade and kidnap for money. He warned of stern action against the errant personnel if they continued such activities. Growing involvement of police in crimes came into focus after some of its personnel were arrested on various charges, including Yaba smuggling, rape human trafficking and extortion. Police headquarters statistics showed that around 15,000 policemen had been handed punishment in 2014. Over 5,000 personnel have been given punishment so far in 2015 and many cases are in process. Of them, around 2,400 policemen were handed severe punishment ranging from halt in promotion to dismissal, said officials concerned. Experts and criminologists said that when an increasing number of law enforcers got involved in crimes, they lose moral right to combat crime. Police headquarters and Dhaka Metropolitan Police recently admitted that a section of the force was involved in crimes and warned them of action, which hardly had any impact. In February, the then DMP Mohammadpur zone assistant commissioner Rajibul Hasan kidnapped a 17-year-old girl and kept her confined in his house for two months. The victim’s family filed a case with Kafrul police station and approached RAB-4 for help. When the incident was disclosed in April, Rajibul was closed to Tejgaon deputy commissioner’s office. But Rajibul threatened the girl’s family not to disclose any information. Rapid Action Battalion arrested Mahfuzur Rahman, 35, an assistant sub-inspector of special branch of police, and seized around 6.80 lakh Yaba tablets worth around Tk 27 crore in his car in Feni Sadar on June 21. During interrogation, Mahfuz confessed that some other policemen were also involved with the drugs racket. Based on his confession, the officer-in-charge of Cox’s Bazar detective branch of police has been closed to the DIG office and 10 policemen have been transferred to different districts for their suspected involvement in Yaba smuggling and human trafficking. Police have also been found involved in rape and extramarital affairs as an ASI of special police battalion was accused of raping his former wife in Khilgaon. Earlier on December 15, 2014, a police constable, Nur-e-Alam, was caught red-handed by people while snatching in the capital’s High Court area while another assistant sub-inspector Khalilur Rahman, fled the scene. Amid such allegations, DMP commissioner on June 17 issued a letter to officers concerned, from officers-in-charge of DMP police stations upwards, expressing his concern over police involvement in crimes. In the letter, Asaduzzaman admitted that analysing some recent incidents, evidence had been found that a few members of the force were involved in crime and unlawful activities. ‘Some personnel have already been caught by police itself or people while mugging. Actions were taken against some others for taking drugs like Yaba, hemp and Phensedyl. Some personnel on night patrol were found picking up people at whim and releasing them after taking money,’ stated the letter. ‘Besides, one of two policemen was also accused of having illicit affairs with women,’ added the letter. Police headquarters earlier on Wednesday formed two committees to investigate involvement of the force’s personnel in drugs and human trafficking, media reports on which worried many calling into question the reputation and role of the law enforcement agencies. When contacted, the DMP chief confirmed having issued the letter and told New Age that he was aware that ‘a few members of the force ‘were involved in such unlawful activities which were tarnishing reputation of the police. ‘The letter was basically advisory guidelines to senior officials to monitor their subordinates and motivate them towards good deeds,’ said Asaduzzaman. If the force members do not carry out instructions, stern action would be taken, he added. Former police chiefs and criminologists view that politicisation and lax monitoring were among the reasons for increasing crimes by law enforcers. Dhaka University professor and criminologist AI Mahbub Uddin Ahmed said that ‘organisational dysfunction and politicisation’ of police force had given rise to the tendency. Chain of command was hardly working and seniors’ commands are hardly carried out at field level which was the basic flaw, said professor Mahbub. He said that due to involvement in crimes, the force was losing its moral right to fight against crime. Nurul Huda, former inspector general of police, blamed senior officials for failing to control subordinates in such situations. State minister for home affairs Asaduzzaman Khan told New Age that police’s top officials had been instructed to show zero tolerance to any crimes committed by force’s members.

Source: New Age