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Dhaka Tribune

Tech-smart criminals outfox police

Update : 04 Nov 2015, 07:25 PM

The country’s law enforcers neither have the specialised technological skills nor the motivation to prevent the frequent subversive attacks on secular personalities and police officials, security analysts have said.

Even though the government and law enforcement agencies have been claiming that all the recent high-profile attacks were premeditated and connected, no one has been able to take any efficient preventative measures so far, the experts add.

Following yesterday’s attack on two Industrial Police personnel, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal reiterated the claim that the same group had been carrying out all the recent attacks in an attempt to foil the war crime trials.

The perpetrators behind the blogger-publisher killings and the police murders were the same, even though they used different names, he said.

“Our officials have already identified them and they will be presented in front of people soon,” Asaduzzaman Khan added.

However, security experts do not share the enthusiasm of the home minister.

Prof Dr Ziaur Rahman, chairman of Dhaka University’s criminology department, yesterday told the Dhaka Tribune that the country’s law enforcers were not capable of analysing the planning methods of the organised group behind the attacks.

Even when victims filed general diaries seeking security, the police were only able to act once the crime had been committed, he said, adding that the failure to act preemptively allows the criminals enough time to escape.

“Actually, this police force is too much committed to the government and busy in serving the government,” the professor said.

He recommended an overhauling of the police force, including better training and more logistical support, so that they are able to deal with such criminal activities and able to ensure pro-active policing.

Talking to the Dhaka Tribune, Tanvir Hassan Zoha, who oversees the ICT Division’s cyber security programme, criticised the mindset of the police force. Many police officials think they know everything, but in reality they are unaware of which era they are living in, Zoha said.

In an age when criminals communicate using high-tech instruments and crime has entered the cyber world, the police in Bangladesh still depend on a manual system, he said.

Asked about a solution, the cyber security specialist said law enforcers need to be given better technology training to make them capable of tackling such crimes.

Another security analyst, Brig Gen M Sakhawat Hossain, said there exists a great gap in the police force which can be either the lack of training or proper motivation.

The weaknesses of the police force need to be identified and fixed before the law enforcers are able to correctly identify the persons behind the recent criminal acts, he added.

Not only the security experts, but even police officials admitted that there are limitations to their abilities.

Monirul Islam, joint commissioner of the Detective Branch of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said it was not an easy task to stop targeted or planned killings. It was also impossible to find out beforehand if anyone was being targeted, he added.

Even though there are special forces in every country to track and prevent crimes such as targeted killings, Bangladesh lacks the manpower and specialised personnel to meet this challenge, the DB chief said.

“It does not mean we are not trying; we are doing our best using our regular force and capability. We are getting success in some cases, but it is true we are not getting 100% success,” Monirul said.

The inspector general of police, AKM Shahidul Haque, also recently said at a programme that the police were unable to stop the recent killings of foreigners as these were all targeted assassinations. 

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