Police authorities are receiving a lot of complaints against their members every day from across the country. Some of these include bribery, harassment, torture of women and extortion. Apart from that, policemen are also being accused of threatening to kill people.
These allegations are pouring in at the ‘IGP Complain Monitoring Cell’. On average, this cell receives more than 300 complaints per month through e-mails, text messages or calls.
Departmental actions are taken against accused policemen after investigations. Their punishments include scolding, halting promotion and timescale, sacking and demoting them.
Police headquarters sources say most complaints are about bribery, harassment, refusing to bear the daily expense of wife after marriage and torturing for dowry, not taking necessary steps after filing of cases, involvement in land-related issues and threatening people.
Punitive measures have been taken against 14,658 policemen until December 31, 2017, according to police headquarters.
Until September last year, 10,777 policemen ranking from constables to sub-inspectors, 37 inspectors and seven officials of assistant police superintendent and above ranks have been punished.
From the first group, 10,395 received light punishment and 357 were handed down heavy penalties. Seven inspectors were punished severely while 29 others faced light penalties. Seven other police officers were handed down departmental punishments including suspension.
Police officials say the punishments for severe crimes are suspension or sacking and demotion. Last year, 25 policemen were kicked out of the force.
The law enforcers say they have been following zero-tolerance policy towards militancy and drugs. But there are allegations that many policemen run drug rings. A number of policemen have been accused of selling and consuming various types of drugs.
On January 31, the police headquarters issued a 10-point directive. It ordered identifying policemen who take illegal facilities from drug sellers and take necessary departmental actions – and if needed, file criminal cases against them.
Former police chief AKM Shahidul Hoque set up the complaint cell on November 13 last year. The cell can be contacted at 01769693535 and 01769693536 or on can e-mail their complaints to [email protected]
Hoque said the system was introduced to prevent corruption, irregularities and other crimes in order to bring back clarity in the force.
“The initiative had been lauded by many quarters,” he said. “I believe it will keep playing an effective role in future.”
Police headquarters’ Additional Inspector General (media) Saheli Ferdous said whenever they receive any complaints against a member of the force they forward it to the concerned unit which opens an investigation and recommends punishment if the allegation turns out to be true.
Apart from taking departmental actions, the head office also arranges the filing of criminal cases.
“Actions are taken against all policemen irrespective of their ranks if their crimes are proven,” Ferdous said. “Police members are being given motivational training to reduce crime tendency.”
This article was first published on banglatribune.com