Constables must be hired centrally
Top police officials have demanded that the police headquarters centrally recruit constables to prevent entry of inefficient people to the force through corruption and political influence.
The demand was raised at a meeting between field-level police officials and the inspector general of police at the capital's Rajarbagh Police Auditorium yesterday.
As per the existing rules, superintendents of police recruit constables. But in most cases, they are recruited allegedly from the lists of names provided by political leaders, a number of SPs told this newspaper.
Political leaders allegedly take hefty amounts in bribe from aspiring candidates. In some cases, dishonest SPs also allegedly take bribe for recruiting constables, allowing inefficient people into the force.
At the meeting on the fourth day of Police Week 2018, Deputy Inspector General of Special Branch AFM Masum Rabbani demanded that constables be recruited centrally for ensuring transparency and recruitment of competent people, according to meeting sources. Several other officials then backed the demand.
At a programme organised on the occasion of Police week later in the day, Obaidul Quader, general secretary of the ruling Awami League, said political interference in recruitment of police has been an obstacle to enhancing efficiency of the force.
Pointing to “shares” of politicians in recruitment, Quader, road transport and bridges minister, questioned how the police would improve its efficiency if this continues.
He asked the SPs not to entertain such unfair requests from political leaders, and said that despite being a minister, he never requested any SP for recruiting anyone.
“If the political leaders are corrected, the police force will make progress,” said Quader at the annual meeting of Police Service Association at the same venue.
Referring to driving on the wrong side of roads, he asked police to take action against the rule breakers.
At yesterday's meeting between police officials and the IGP, a number of SPs supported the demand for recruiting constables centrally.
IGP AKM Shahidul Hoque, however, said it is not possible to do so right now, as the existing law empowers the SPs to recruit constables, the meeting sources added.
Last year, the police headquarters mulled a new mechanism to recruit efficient people as constables and stop corruption and political influence. But it never saw the light of day.
At that time, the SPs in 54 districts out of the 64 welcomed the move. Eight SPs gave no opinions and two opposed it, an official at the headquarters told The Daily Star.
Besides, 85 of 130 top police officials were in favour of the new system while 29 refrained from giving their views, the official had said, seeking anonymity.
The job of a constable could be secured for Tk 6-7 lakh and that of an SI for Tk-15 lakh, according to police officials and some recently recruited constables who talked to this correspondent.
Recently, ex-IGP Nur Mohammad told this newspaper, “We often hear that lower-tier policemen are being recruited in exchange for money … Coming out of training [it's only natural that] he would push yaba or arms in the pockets of people to recover the money.”
Speaking at yesterday's meeting attended by police officials with the ranks of SP and above, Rapid Action Battalion Director General Benazir Ahmed said there will be a lot of challenges this year as it will be an election year.
He asked them to give their best efforts to overcome the challenges.
Rezaul Haider, additional DIG of Special Security and Protection Battalion, proposed that a post of director in the Special Security Force be kept for police and an officer with the rank of additional DIG could be appointed to the post.
He also called for creating a separate police unit for disaster and environment management.
A number of police officials demanded more vehicles for the force, construction of a complex with forensic and other laboratories, dormitories in every district for bachelor police officers, appointment of administrative officers for all units, and providing highway police with wreckers.
Meanwhile, Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia and Deputy Commissioner of Counter Terrorism and Transnational Unit Praloy Kumar Jaorder were elected president and general secretary of Bangladesh Police Service Association for the next one year at its annual general meeting.