Among them, a number of sensational murder cases have been gathering dust in the Detective Branch (DB) and Criminal Investigation Department (CID) offices, where the cases were transferred for speedy and fair investigation.
A number of rights activists pointed out that there is a multitude of factors responsible for the backlog of cases, such as negligence of investigators, delayed investigation process, lack of skilled investigation officers, and treatment of political cases.
The activists further added that after every incident, investigation runs in full swing for days, but it eventually fizzles out with the march of time.
A case file then usually begins to gather dust. According to police sources, a total of 7,511 cases are currently pending with 49 police stations under the jurisdiction of eight DMP divisions. Investigation into the abovementioned cases has not been completed as of December, 2017. Of the eight divisions, 1,167 cases are under investigation with six police stations under Ramna division of DMP, 469 cases are pending with six police stations under Lalbagh division, 1,199 cases are pending with seven police stations under Motijheel division and 948 cases with six police stations under Wari division. A total of 784 cases are under investigation with five police stations under Tejgaon division, 1,152 cases with seven police stations under Mirpur division, 1,123 cases with six police stations under Uttara division and 669 cases with six police stations under Gulshan division. Of the cases, the police are investigating 5,085 cases, the Detective Branch (DB) of police is investigating 952 cases, CID 1,068 cases, Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) 186 cases and Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime Unit (CTTC) 117 cases, while 103 cases are under investigation of others agencies. For example, assailants hurled a bomb at Awami League lawmaker Fazle Noor Taposh’s car in front of his law chamber at Motijheel on October 21, 2009, leaving at least 13 people injured. MP Taposh survived the incident. Taposh later filed a case with Motijheel police station. But the case is yet to see light of the day in the past eight years, as the DB police is yet to submit charge sheet. Meherun Runi, senior reporter of private TV channel ATN Bangla, and her husband Sagar Sarowar, news editor of Maasranga TV, were murdered on February 11, 2012. RAB is investigating the case, but they are yet to submit probe report in the past six years. On April 26, 2011, BTRC official Kawsar Ahmed filed a case against six people with Ramna police station over illegal VOIP business. But the charge sheet is yet to be submitted in the case. Speaking to the correspondent, human rights activist Md Nur Khan Liton told to the Dhaka Tribune: “Law enforcers are killing time in the name of investigation, and this is an age old phenomenon in Bangladesh. “The police are using the shortage of manpower as an excuse. But most of the time they are busy carrying out their duties as law enforcers and as traffic police, to prevent processions and disperse gatherings in Dhaka.” Liton further pointed out that many police personnel are busy serving as protocol to MPs and ministers. “Investigation of some cases depends on the political factors. In some cases, the probe was deliberately delayed due to the political motivations. This questionable practice puts both the plaintiff and the accused in difficult situation,” he said. Nur Khan, who is also a former executive director of Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), said: “A culture of impunity is prevalent in the country, leading to the delay in the investigation process in general.” He continued: “People are suffering as both the police and the lawyers deliberately delay case proceedings, for reasons beneficial only to them. Making a few recommendations for resolving the issue, Nur said: “The investigation officer (IO) should only carry out investigation, and should not be put on regular police duty at during that period. “Skilled doctors should be employed in the investigation process for murder and rape cases, because doctor’s report plays a key role in those matters.” Meanwhile, refusing the idea of police negligence, Deputy Commissioner Md Anisur Rahman of Criminal Intelligence and Prosecution told to the Dhaka Tribune: “We are investigating cases with utmost sincerity and we are submitting charge sheets on time.” He, however, admitted that investigation into a number of cold cases remains pending to this day.