Thursday, September 20, 2018 | ePaper

Confession not enough, police must undergo reform

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IT appears police are above law. There is none capable to regulate the police force.

Bribes or kickbacks in any form involving the police force are not a new phenomenon in Bangladesh. But in the last decade bribes over posting of officers-in-charge and sub-inspectors have become rampant. During a press conference held on Sunday, the Deputy Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) came up with a shocking revelation - an OC has to pay a bribe of Tk 30 lakh to Tk 1.5 crore for his preferred posting. Similarly the sub-inspector needs to pay several lakhs for transfer. He came up with the remarks as the new IGP inquired from the senior officials their views on reports of anomalies in constable recruitment and police involvement in drug trading. Moreover, the DC pleaded the new IGP to instruct his DIGs (Deputy Inspector Generals) to stop taking kickbacks over posting of inspectors as in charge (OC) at police stations.

So far we were mostly told about unofficial account of bribe taking in police administration over police recruitment but this time what's alarming is that, not an opposition party leader or an investigative journalist - the whistle-blower is the DC of DMP himself. The rot in the police force in terms of illegal payment for recruitment and transfers, smuggling and all other crimes has now reached the peak. It was bound to happen since there is practically zero accountability and transparency about the functioning of the country's elite law enforcement agency.

The point, however, if an OC gets appointed by paying lakhs of taka in bribe, he will naturally want to indulge bigger bribe taking, in robbery, stealing and drug trading to recover the money. It opens the way to unbridled corruption making life of common people vulnerable to police harassment. Police act in desperation to make illegal money. Most likely he would be then devoid of moral scruples when it comes to get involved in crimes.
Call it shame, sincerity or professional integrity - our high-ups in the police have all become emptied of these adjectives. Most importantly, they have evidently failed to set standards and examples for their juniors. They are almost equal partner to crime and making people victim to extort money. There is no surprise why the public's confidence in police has so greatly diminished. We call for the country's highest authority to immediately look into the matter before things get even worse. It would take mammoth efforts to reform the police, but it should begin right away.

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