There have been quite a number of reports in the media on the recent transfer of Narayanganj police superintendent (SP) Mohammed Harun-ur-Rashid. Some reports suggest that the transfer came following the SP's role in picking up the wife and son of industrialist Shawkat Aziz, the latter is the son of Partex Group Chairman MA Hashem Aziz. Shawkat himself was also held allegedly at the SP's order. The Business Standard talked about the issue with a law professor and a former inspector general of police. Here is how they feel about the whole episode.
Anti-corruption agencies should be in place to curb police corruption
Muhammed Nurul Huda
Former Inspector General of Police, Bangladesh
The people in public services, in charge of maintaining law and order, should maintain certain discretion in their works. They have coercive power to curtail public liberty and arrest people. This coercive power, along with the effective uses, has certain scopes for abuse and misuse. People in charge of public affairs often end up working against the interest of the people. So, the allegations against the public servants are not alien at all.
To address the allegations, illegal activities, or inconsistencies in the actions of the police officials, there is a departmental inquiry or security cell. This security cell is run under a deputy inspector general of police and some other officials whose ambit of operation extends across the country. If necessary, they can seek the assistance of the Criminal Investigation Department as well.
The government also has certain organisations like the Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate against the corrupt officials. The government needs not depend on the internal police investigation all the time.
Police officials should be trained against corruption since the beginning of their professional life.
But we should not forget that despite all these efforts and trainings, certain people will never learn. To bring them to book, the agencies working to investigate corruption should be revitalised. The corrupt officials must be brought to book through departmental actions whenever it is necessary.
If the wrongdoing of any official is akin to that of a criminal offence, application of criminal law should be ensured.
Prompt operation by all the investigating institutions will ensure that the public servants become more sincere about taking a stance against crime and corruption.
Corrupt officials must be brought to book
Dr Mahbubur Rahman
Professor of Law, University of Dhaka
The involvement of SP Harun-Ur-Rashid in crime and corruption is a result of policing with impunity, which have manifested in many an incident over the years.
In the last one decade, the number of such incidents has only multiplied. It has been observed that the police department is barely held accountable for their actions.
We often learn of police involvement in crimes and corruption through the media. In many instances, the police was seen to pick people up without paying much attention to the existing laws and regulations. Consequently, it is nothing but policing with impunity. Since they are in the habit of picking up people at the behest of the authority, some officers take the liberty to do the same for their personal gains.
Not to mention that these public servants are taking advantage of the weaknesses of the authority to exercise their ill motives. The core weaknesses in the police service must be addressed. The government must bring the corrupt officials to book to ensure that public service department remains corruption free.