Many policemen are allegedly involved in various crimes such as drug dealing, extortion and abduction as they, criminologists say, can easily skip severe punishment for the offences.
Criminologists say punishment for police members found involved in crimes mostly remain confined to departmental action like withdrawal from duty, transfer and forced retirement; they are hardly put on trial under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).Court records suggest there are few instances of awarding exemplary punishment to the cops involved in criminal activities.
An estimate by the police department shows a growing trend of policemen committing crimes.
Statistics from the Police Headquarters show that the police department has taken 73,333 ‘disciplinary action’ against its errant members between 2012 and 2017.
Some 506 policemen were dismissed while 36 others sent into forced retirement during the period.
In 2018, complaints were lodged against 37,000 policemen while punitive action was taken against only 10,000 of them with a few being dismissed from their job.
Sources said the real number of crimes committed by police personnel will be much higher as many people do not complain against police in fear of harassment.A senior police officer said a police member has no chance to escape punishment after committing any crime. “When a complaint against a policeman is proved, punitive action is taken against him or her,” he said on condition of anonymity.
He said many written complaints are filed against police members but the complainants, in most cases, do not come up with necessary evidence necessary to prove the offences.
On February 8, two assistant sub-inspectors (ASIs) of police have been arrested on charges of kidnapping three youths in Gazipur and demanding a ransom of Tk 30 lakh for their release.
The accused cops have already been suspended. They ASI Abdullah Al Mamun of Kaliakair police station in Gazipur and ASI Musfiqur Rahman of Mirzapur police station in Tangail district.
They have already confessed to their involvement in the crime, but are now blaming each other.
On September 1, 2018, RAB personnel seized 29,000 Yaba tablets from a Dhaka-bound truck in Redwan filling station area under Mirsarai upazila. Later, Badruzza Mahmud, a sub-inspector (SI) of Chattogram Metropolitan Police (CMP), was arrested for his alleged involvement in Yaba trafficking.
During the interrogation, Mahmud admitted his involvement with Yaba business. On March 8 in 2018, detectives arrested ASI Suhrawardy Rubel along with 50,000 pieces of Yaba tablets and Tk 5 lakh from Narayanganj.
During interrogation, the cop confessed that he was involved in drug dealing.
It was also known that three more police officers were also involved in the drug trade. Later, the four were sued under the Narcotics Control Act.
On October 25, 2017, Army personnel caught seven detective police with a ransom of Tk 17 lakh.
The seven detectives collected the ransom after abducting a trader from Marine Drive Road under Teknaf upazila in Cox’s Bazar.
ABM Nazmus Sakib, a teacher of the Criminology Department at Dhaka University, told the Daily Sun: There are very few instances of awarding exemplary punishment to the policemen involved in misdeeds because investigation is carried out by police.
He has suggested forming a separate police wing with some honest police officer to investigate the alleged misdeeds of policemen.
Sources at the Police Headquarters said there are many incidents of police crimes. Only the leaked incidents are being discussed.
Most of the investigation reports go in favour of the accused while some reports come to light.
There is a complaint of violation of rules and regulations against a large section of the convicted police personnel. Md Sohel Rana, Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police Headquarters, told the daily sun, “We conducted investigation and ensured punishment whenever we’ve got complaints against any policemen.”
“Departmental cases were also filed against those who are responsible,” he added.
He also said offenders were punished in accordance with the Divisional Procedure.