The cabinet committee on law and order yesterday came down heavily on cops for the torture of a Bangladesh Bank official and a city corporation staff, and advised the police high-ups to stay alert about this type of incidents.
It also expressed concern that people involved in extremism and subversive activities are getting bail and engaging in crimes again. They urged the law minister to toughen laws to prevent this, sources said.
The committee, which was holding a meeting at the home ministry with Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu in the chair, recommended stern action against terror financing.
The meeting was attended by Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon, LGRD Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain, Law Minister Anisul Huq, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal and top bureaucrats and high officials of police, Rab and the BGB.
Sources said a senior minister raised the issue of the police torture and later other ministers joined the discussion. In response, the inspector general of police said appropriate action has been taken against the policemen in question.
On January 9, the Bangladesh Bank official was tortured for refusing to pay a bribe of Tk 5 lakh in the capital's Mohammadpur. Just within a week, cops beat up a Dhaka South City Corporation staff in the capital's Jatrabari area. These two incidents caused widespread outrage.
The meeting also recommended introducing similar uniform for all private security guards so that their uniforms bear no resemblance to that of the army or the BGB.
The home minister informed the meeting that his ministry is formulating a law on dress code for the private security guards and an order will be issued soon.
The meeting asked the law enforcement agencies to take tough action to stop extortion and issuing of death threats over mobile phones.
Tofail Ahmed, also a veteran Awami League leader, slammed police, saying they have no success in the war against drugs.
Sources said the committee recommended sending samples of all energy drinks to the Department of Narcotics Control to test whether they contain alcohol.
After the meeting, Amir Hossain Amu told reporters that the government is going to take legal measures against those trying to create anarchy by hurting people's religious sentiment.
“Those troublemakers were given warnings earlier; now legal action will be taken against them if they continue to do so,” he said.
Amu, also the ruling Awami League's advisory council member, said law enforcers have collected information about some people engaged in terror financing.