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Dhaka Tribune

Village police demand inclusion in government pay scale

Update : 25 Apr 2018, 11:47 PM
Speakers and right activists on Wednesday said the government should take measures to prevent wage discrimination against members of village police and include them in the pay scale of the fourth class government employees. The comments were made at a discussion organized by the Bangladesh Village Police Employees’ Union (BVPEU) at the office of Bangladesh Shishu Kalyan Parishad in Dhaka on Wednesday. Addressing the event, BVPEU Secretary General MA Naser said although the village police has been operational for 224 years, there is no pay scale approved by the government for the force. Salaries of members of the force, administered by the Local Government Division, come from the office of upazila nirbahi officers and Union Parishads. The government increased their salaries by only Tk500 after the force held a rally at National Shaheed Minar in April 2016, demanding pay hikes. Generally, one village police member is deployed in each village and a dafadar leads all the members deployed in a union. Currently, there are 38,232 village policemen and 6,652 dafadars deployed in 4,448 Union Parishads across the country. A dafadar gets a monthly salary of Tk3,500 and a mahaldar gets Tk3,000. In December 2016, the Higher Court issued a ruling asking the government to approve a pay scale for the force but the authorities have yet to take any measures in this regard, Naser said, adding that their organization would soon convene a meeting to discuss the matter. The High Court ruling followed a petition filed by 55 such policemen on Nov 27, 2016. The government is apparently reluctant to implement recommendations mentioned in the Union Parishad Act 2011, which suggest the Finance Ministry take measures to upgrade village polices' status to that of the fourth class government employees, BVPEU leaders said, adding that no governments had ever provided them with festival bonuses. Bangladesh Online Activist Forum (BOAF) President Kabir Chowdhury Tanmoy said: “The village police has been neglected in all aspects ever since the force was formed some 200 years ago. The government authorities concerned assured on several occasions that they would take steps to address the issue, but their assurances have never turned into reality.” Echoing Tanmoy, Sangjuktta Sramik Federation President Mosaddek Hossain Swapan urged the government to take measures  to address the grievances of village policemen as soon as possible.
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