Former Inspector General of Police (IGP) AKM Shahidul Hoque said political parties and bureaucracy in Bangladesh never want a change in the police.
"Parties in power want the police to do whatever the ruling people wish. A member of parliament usually wants the OC [officer-in-charge] in his constituency to do whatever he says. It is very difficult to deal with these challenges and adversities," the ex-IGP told the publication of his autobiography – "Police Jiboner Smriti: Swoiracar Patan Theke Jangi Daman" – in Dhaka on Saturday.
"I did not bow to any political evil," he said, adding, "I did not work aiming at holding any certain chair. Whenever I got transferred, I left the previous office to join the new one."
The former IGP claimed that he did not hesitate to take action against the leaders and activists of ruling Awami League while he was in office. "Not everyone can be like me. Therefore, I think there should be a system so that police can work neutrally."
Shahidul Hoque said, "Police is a part of the judiciary. If they cannot act neutrally, the criminal justice system will never work. A proper investigation is not possible if police cannot act impartially."
Referring to massive police reform, he said it is a "political statement" as he does not know how the entire policing could be overhauled.
However, the former police chief said, "Legal reform is a must if police are to act independently."
"I took the initiative when I was in office, but it did not work out. I proposed forming a police commission as well as a police complaint commission. If there is a complaint against the cop, it will be investigated by an independent body. But that did not happen because of the bureaucrats."
"And politicians certainly will not support such any initiatives. If the mindset of politicians and bureaucrats does not change, the word of good governance will remain only in slogans," added Shahidul Hoque.
Noting police have to work in a "very hostile situation", the ex-IGP said, "Everyone wants the services of police, but no one likes them."
"They are afraid of cops; they do not consider police as truly good persons. I wrote in my book that we do not feel the oxygen since we live in it. Similarly, we do not feel the need for cops since we already have them in society. If the government announces that there will be no policing for two hours, we do not feel what the scenario would look like then," he added.