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Dhaka Tribune

DMP online GD service ‘ineffective’, ‘non-cooperative’

Update : 15 Nov 2014, 06:51 PM

Back in the year 2010, Dhaka Metropolitan Police, as part of its digital process, introduced online general diary (GD) filling system but due to lack of cooperation and proper service from authorities concerned, the project has now become ineffective as the number of complaints online have dropped to almost zero.

Although the service was introduced so that people could file their complaints from home, the DMP online GD process needs the complainant to come to the police station in person. Moreover, sources alleged that most of the GDs filed through the online process would not get investigated.

Barrister Tanjib Rashid Khan, after receiving a threat over the phone, registered an online complaint with Uttara West police station on September 14. However, though the point of an online complaint is its immediate response, Tanjib received a verification code for the GD after three days. Later he had to go to the respective station to get a copy of the GD after signing some documents.

Interestingly, the investigation of Tanjib’s complaint is yet to start.

When asked, Rafiqul Islam, officer-in-charge of the police station, said: “Receiving such threats over the phone is nothing new. We will definitely look into the matter if such threats come repetitively.”

Barrister Tanjib’s luck may have favoured him because other users of the service alleged that they did not receive a copy of the GD, rather they had to file a written complaint again going to the respective police station.

Rashid Khan, a businessman in the capital’s Bangshal area, told the Dhaka Tribune that he had filed an online complaint with Bangshal police station in September regarding his lost National Identity Card but even after seven days of the complaint he did not receive any verification code nor any form of response from the police. He had to file a written complain with the station for the GD.

Rashid also claimed that before he left the police station, he had to pay Tk100 to the person who instructed and helped him to file the written complaint.

When inquired, Abdul Kuddus, officer-in-charge of Bangshal police station, said the area under the jurisdiction of his police station was too small and no one preferred to file a GD online, rather complainants were comfortable to come in person to the station.  About the money, he said: “It is a baseless claim as no official has the right to demand any money for filing a GD and no one at the station will do so.”

In another incident, Fazlul Haque, a garment owner of East Bengal Market of Sadarghat, said he had went to submit a GD at Sutrapur police station couple of months back but the duty officer told him that the GD was not written properly. Although Fazlul claims that he had written it properly, he said the officer asked him to go to a writer in the next room and then come again.

Fazlul alleged that when the writer completed the GD, he saw both his and the new copy and found no difference. “The writer then, after completion of the job, demand Tk200 from me,” he claimed.

Sources at the DMP system analysis department and police headquarters said the then police commissioner of DMP, Shahidul Haque, introduced the online GD service on March 3, 2010, under the access to information project. The slogan of the project was “O Police, Bondhu Amar” which was financed by personal police fund.

Since the start of its journey, a total of 34, 375 GDs has been registered in DMP areas in last four years but only 9,786 of those GDs were enlisted in the register for investigation, according to sources of the department concerned.

When inquired about the reasons behind such a situation, an official of DMP, requesting anonymity, said in the case of most online applications the local police stations would not respond because if the complainant came to the station in person to file a GD, he would give a minimum amount to the duty officer as a token of appreciation in order to process the complaint accurately. But in online application there was no such scope.

Visiting different police stations in last three days, this correspondent came to know that in an average at least 25 GDs were filed everyday in analog system at each of the 49 police stations under the DMP but the number of online applications was almost zero, suggesting that the project might go offline.

Requesting anonymity, an official working as a system analyst of DMP, said: “Online complaints has been losing its popularity among the people since the last six months but it had a good response soon after the system’s introduction.”

When contacted, Dhanmondi police station OC Abu Bakkar Siddique on Wednesday said he had received only three online complaints in the last five months. However, when asked about the reason, he said: “People now a days feel comfortable filing a complaint in person and for this reason the applications online might have dropped.”

However, DC Masudur Rahman, media and publication of DMP, said they were working on improving some technical aspects of the online GD service, refuting the allegations of inefficiency and lack of cooperation. When asked if the service was about to stop, he said there was no such possibility. “Once the technical aspects are improved, the service will be back in track and people would able to use the service more easily.”

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