Political interferences and unrest are the main obstacles faced by the police in carrying out their duties properly and independently, said civil society members, police officials and rights activists at a programme on Monday.
At a panel discussion on “Policing based on citizen consensus” at the Police Staff College in Mirpur, a day-long event jointly organised by the college and Retired Police Officials’ Welfare Association speakers expressed dissatisfactions over the failure to update laws under which the police work and urged for the implementation of modern and pro-citizen laws.
Editor of the Bangla daily Samakal, Golam Sarwar, said, “Police cannot work properly and independently due to the interference by political leaders. In most cases, local lawmakers control the OCs [officers-in-charge] of police stations [in their area], which is dangerous.”
Chief guest Inspector General of Police (IGP) Hassan Mahmood Khandker said: “We do not want to see either Mughal era police laws nor laws left back from the Pakistan rule. We need laws for the people that are for the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh.”
The IGP expressed his wish to see people-oriented policing. He said: “People should be deciding on what kind of police they want.”
In an open-discussion session many questions were raised about the actions of law enforcers on May 5 during Hefazat-e-Islam’s Dhaka siege in Motijheel’s Shapla Chattar. The police chief addressed all the queries; he said the actions taken by the police were appropriate because otherwise the situation could have taken a turn for the worse.
Speakers raised questions about the chain of command in the police and outlined the disciplinary force that runs it. The IGP refuted the notion the system is flawed.
The roles and attitude of law enforcers toward people seeking their help, and with regard to corruption, bribery and abuse of power were also discussed.
Former IGPs Enamul Huq, M Azizul Huq, Md Hadis Uddin, ATM Ahmedul Huq and University of Dhaka’s (DU) Professor Syed Manjurul Islam and Professor Dalem Chandra Burman, were among others who attended the programme that was chaired by the rector of the staff college Mohammad Nazmul Haque.