DB Police impersonators on the rise
The number of incidents of abduction carried out by criminals posing as DB Police, have apparently gone up in the capital prompting the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) to ask the public to help catch the imposters. In the event of individuals trying to arrest people by claiming to be DB Police, the DMP has urged citizens to demand ID cards and check if they are wearing the specific vests that such officials are required to wear during operations. This is hardly a solution to a rather frightening problem. It is unlikely that ordinary citizens, who harbour a general wariness for law enforcers of any brand, will have the temerity to ask for ID or even know how to make sure the vests are authentic. The arrogance of law enforcers when making arrests intimidates the ordinary citizen into remaining silent. In any case such items can easily be duplicated, something only the law enforcers can put an end to.
Rather, the most obvious solution is for citizens to demand an arrest warrant if anyone comes to arrest them. This brings to the fore Section 54 of Cr.P.C, a law that allows for arbitrary arrest without any warrant. Such a law gives scope for abuse by errant law enforcing pesonnel, sometimes egged on by political influence. With numerous instances of real law enforcing personel going rogue, criminals are finding quite easy to convince their victims that they are indeed law enforcers.
It is of course crucial that such imposters are caught and brought to book. But along with that the state must have a monitoring system to make sure that the real law enforcers do not abuse the laws they are authorised to enforce. Only then will the public have the confidence and courage to challenge suspected impersonators.