Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina herself recently instructed the police force to act as ‘friends of the people’
In an ideal scenario, the police are meant to serve and protect citizens. But to say that our law enforcement has a less-than-stellar reputation with people in our country, would be an understatement.
Of course, there is some basis to the deep distrust that has fomented in the minds of the average Bangladeshi citizen -- heavy-handed behaviour from the police, unsolicited stop and search procedures, and the ever-present corruption that has all but spread throughout the agency do nothing to help put citizens’ minds at ease.
However, it is good to know that steps are indeed being taken to restore the lost faith in our law enforcement. And the fact that the issue has been acknowledged by the highest strata of the government itself inspires hope.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina herself recently instructed the police force to act as “friends of the people” and ensure “welfare, peace, and security of people” as their solemn duty.
This is exactly the acknowledgement that is needed.
The recent report of two police assistant SIs being investigated for unlawfully detaining an innocent man, after mistakenly implicating him in a case, shows that there is indeed a changing attitude taking place within the organization.
In fact, on top of the investigation, punitive actions are also being considered for the SIs in question for their excessive force and lack of restraint.
Establishing a strong, robust, and corruption-free police force that dedicates itself to the service of the people is a necessity for any successful nation.
But in order to achieve that feat, it is imperative that the police force be subjected to widespread reform that roots out the problem elements from top to bottom.