Rogue members of the police
Neil Ray | Published:
January 17, 2016 22:03:48
October 24, 2017 12:08:46
They have earned for themselves the infamous epithet 'rogue'. Even the more illustrious members of the law enforcement agency like to dismiss their deplorable activities off-handed. Aberration of duty is definitely not a monopoly for cops in this country. But its abominable nature is what really has become a cause for serious concern.
When an unsuspecting Bangladesh Bank (BB) official was forcibly picked up by a police sub-inspector for coercing with the ulterior motive of extracting money, it no longer remained an isolated incident. First he was accosted and charged that he had been carrying yaba tablets. On denial he was hauled into the car and mercilessly beaten before being confined.
Public outrage over the incident is yet to die down and the police have repeated the act. This time the venue is Dholaipar area and the victim is a Dhaka South City Corporation official. So severely was he beaten that the man fell unconscious. Then a small trader in old Dhaka was dragged down from rooftop before shooting him in the leg last Friday.
All three men were admitted to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital. In the first case, the anguish of the young bank official is so deep that has suffered a critical trauma. Sensitive people like him cannot accept such cruelty for no fault of theirs. Naturally, he cannot sleep. The monster of a man in uniform haunts him. So the physicians have suggested psychotherapy for the BB official. What happened then is even more baffling. Two men impersonating journalists visited him in the DMCH cabin to threat him of dire consequences if he dared file a case. The rogue member now suspended has his associates to carry on where he has left.
If such incidents take place one after another in the capital, the situation is no better elsewhere in the country. A report carried in a Bangla contemporary alleges that a police officer realised extortion money of Tk 45,000 from a tradesman in Kushtia. This follows another such incident in Jaipurhat. Refusal to hand over Tk 100,000 was about to cost the tradesman's life. He just managed to pacify the cop at a time when the latter was ready to stage a cross-fire incident with the revolver ready to go off from point blank range.
Not all such cases can be of mistaken identity. The most notorious case the police instituted against innocent Limon Hossain should have been a lesson for law enforcement men. But it has not happened. Instead, their involvement in increasing criminal activities forced the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) commissioner to issue a letter in the last week of June, 2015, where he admitted that he had evidence that police officers were involved in crimes like narcotics trade and kidnapping for money. The police chief and the commissioner separately issued warnings against the erring members.
Yet things hardly improved. Complaints against 5,556 police officers were filed while 28 were caught red-handed between January and May in 2015. Of the accused, 57 were sacked or sent to forced retirement. To illustrate it further, the police headquarters' data may be of help. The headquarters took action against 14,500 and 15,500 police officers in 2013 and 2014 respectively for their involvement in crimes. This number is most likely to be higher in 2015.
Such a large number of police officers' involvement in crimes is simply unusual and unacceptable. When men in uniform commit crimes, fighting lawlessness proves impossible. Something has gone seriously wrong with the enforcement of order down the rank. The police high-ups should find out the reason why men in charge of maintaining law are turning law breakers and criminals. Even punishment meted out to them is not proving deterrent enough. So its cause should be found within, not outside.