The Police Headquarters proposed names of 118 police and Rab personnel, which is the lowest in the last five years, for prestigious police medals.
The number of proposed awardees is one-third of that of the previous time when a record 349 personnel were given the awards last year.
Police officials said this time the number dropped significantly as the police high-ups strictly scrutinised while nominating police personnel for the awards as awarding a record number of policemen last time drew huge criticism.
The PHQ on Thursday sent a list of the 118 persons –14 for Bangladesh Police Medal (BPM), 28 for BPM (Service), 20 for President Police Medal (PPM) and 56 for PPM (service) to the home ministry. The ministry will forward it for the president’s approval and then the ministry will issue a gazette.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is supposed to hand over the awards on the first day of Police Week 2020 starting on January 5 next year at Rajarbagh for bravery, combating crime, cracking important cases, efficiency, honesty and discipline.
The officials said the number was so high last time as all 80 police officials holding commanding posts in divisions, districts and metropolitan areas were awarded the prestigious medals considering their role played ahead of and during the December 30, 2018 election.
The ruling Awami League won a landslide victory in the polls bagging 257 of the 299 seats.
“Though it is a big achievement for a policeman to get such an award, many did not feel that much excited last year after being awarded,” said a police officer wishing anonymity.
Months after the record number of people were awarded, the home ministry formed a six-member committee in May to examine the list of police medal nominees creating tension between the Police Headquarters and its supervising authority.
The ministry also sent a letter to the Police Headquarters on May 2, asking the office of Inspector General of Police to send the names to the body 30 days before every Police Week.
The ministry did not say anything about the rationale behind the committee formation, but its letter read, “The Police Headquarters must send the list of 90 law enforcers selected for the awards to the ministry along with the citations.”
Several police officials then said they considered the move as an aberration in the standard practice while a home ministry official said they often face questions from the offices of the president and the prime minister when the ministry forwards the police proposal for such a big number of awardees.
The BPM and PPM gallantry Awards were introduced in 1976. The BPM and PPM service awards were initiated through another notification on March 8, 1999.
Each BPM awardee will get a one-off allowance of Tk 1 lakh and Tk 1,500 monthly. For BPM (service), it will be one-off Tk 75,000 and Tk 1,000 monthly.
A PPM awardee will get one-off Tk 75,000 and Tk 1,500 monthly while a PPM (service) awardee will get one-off Tk 50,000 and Tk 1,000 monthly.
The awardees will continue to get the monthly allowance during the service period and even after retirement.