A total of 118 police personnel of different ranks are going to get prestigious awards in 2020. The number of medallists has dramatically decreased to one-third than that in 2019, according to sources.
In the five-day-long "Police Week 2020" beginning on January 5, these policemen, ranking from constable to additional inspector general of police, will receive the awards for their bravery and service in the profession. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to hand over the awards to the recipients.
Already, a list of the police personnel receiving the awards has been sent to the home ministry from the Police Headquarters. Within Tuesday, a gazette of the list will be published.
The Business Standard has obtained a copy of the list that reads the awardees have been selected for the medals in four categories.
On the list, 14 police officials and rankers have been selected for Bangladesh Police Medal (Bravery) while 28 for Bangladesh Police Medal (Service). Meanwhile, 20 police personnel will receive President Police Medal (Bravery) and 56 will get President Police Medal (Service).
In 2019, total 349 policemen, including all 80 police officials holding commanding posts in divisions, districts and metropolitan areas, got the awards in recognition to their bravery, combating crime, cracking important cases, efficiency, honesty and discipline. It is the highest in the history of Bangladesh Police Week.
There was an allegation, however, that a record amount of police personnel was chosen for the awards for their roles ahead of and during the national election held on December 30, 2018. Awami League won a landslide victory in the election, bagging 257 out of 299 seats.
Many policemen also complained that their names were not included on the list of awardees despite having necessary qualifications.
But this time, the list of awardees has been properly scrutinised, sources said, adding that all those who received the medals in 2019, except for one particular field, have been excluded from the list this time.
The Police Headquarters, however, denied making any official comment on it.
A senior official at the Police Headquarters, wishing not to be named, said a five-member committee headed by Additional Inspector General of Police (Admin) Dr Moinur Reza Chowdhury was working to finalise the list.
When asked, Mir Sohel Rana, an assistant inspector general of police at the police headquarters, declined to make any comment on why the number of awardees decreased this time.
But, a senior official from the home ministry told The Business Standard that the ministry wanted to restrict the number of awardees to 100.
"But after several requests from the police headquarters, the number of awardees has been finalised at 118, and within Tuesday, a gazette of the list will be published," said the deputy secretary of police branch-2 of the ministry.