Corruption in police clouds law and order

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Publication Date: 29 June 2015
Media: The Independent

Those entrusted with controlling law and order appear to be involved in smuggling yaba tablets, taking bribe, human trafficking, and extortion.

This month, three major crimes were committed by men in uniform. These include extortion and smuggling of yaba tablets.

These activities of a section of law enforcement officers have been a cause for embarrassment for the force.

When contacted, Shafiqual Islam, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) of the Chittagong Range, told The Independent: “These incidents have tarnished the image of law enforcers. Such activities will not be tolerated. There are provisions for exemplary punishment so that no one will commit such crimes in future. Action will be taken against the guilty men.”

However, criminologists say the culture of impunity is encouraging policemen to flout the law.
When contacted, Syed Mahfujul Haque Marjan, lecturer, Department of Criminology, Dhaka University, told The Independent: “Punitive measures are hardly taken against law enforcement officers. The authorities at best close them for committing a crime. However, after some days or months their jobs are restored. This is one of the reasons why some policemen continue to commit crimes.”

The moral quality of the police force has deteriorated greatly. It’s necessary to sensitise prospective police officers about their ethical responsibilities at the time of training. Our law enforcement system is a legacy of the British colonial culture, so, it has remained a suppressive system. Now, the concept of policing has changed, so there’s a need to change the colonial hangover affecting the roots of our policing system,” added Majran.

“On the other hand, the salary structure plays a significant role in checking crime. The current salaries of members of the force is very poor. This is why they get involved in crimes,” Marjan added.
On June 25, a sub-inspector of the Industrial Police was detained for demanding money from a private insurance official. The cop and his associate were caught red-handed by the Kowtali police. However, he was later released and no case was registered against him.
On June 21, RAB-7 arrested an assistant sub-inspector of police and his driver at Lalpole Feni with yaba tablets worth Tk. 6.8 lakh. RAB-7 also said that these individuals are part of a yaba smuggling group. This syndicate has been smuggling yaba tablets from Cox’s Bazar into Dhaka for a long time.
After this incident, the names of six other cops involved in yaba smuggling came to the forefront. They are Mohammad Belal Hossain, sub-inspector of police who is with the Cox’s Bazar Detective Branch, Mohammad Ashik, an ASI, he also served at Teknaf Police Station of Cox’s Bazar, and three constables of the Special Branch — Shaheen, Kashem and Gias.
Interestingly, the police are deployed to check smuggling of yaba tablets, but they are involved with the syndicate of smugglers. They are smuggling yaba tablets taking advantage of their police identity.
On June 8, five members of the Detective Branch of the Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) were suspended after they allegedly conducted a raid at a business firm without any authorisation.
They intimidated the owner by telling him that he would be implicated in false arms and drugs cases. They also allegedly extorted Tk 3 lakh from him.
The suspended police officers were sub-inspector Amirul Islam, assistant sub-inspector Zahirul Islam and constables Shohel Mahmud, Golam Samdani and Shah Alam.
Recently, Rangunia police was accused of falsely implicating a teenage boy of raping his sister and releasing the main accused. As per direction of the High Court, the main accused was later arrested.
“The social structure is in a bad shape. In every sphere, our society is bridled with corruption. Cops are part of our society. So, when they commit crimes, nobody is safe,” said Marjan.

Shamsuddin Illius
Shamsuddin Illius is a print and online media journalist. He has been working in the field (fulltime) of journalism since 2010. He is very much passionate about journalism since his early age. Currently he is the Bureau Chief-Chittagong at The Business Standard.

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