In an unprecedented move, the police administration has transferred 1,487 of its members -- from constables to inspectors -- from Cox's Bazar.
They have been attached to different police ranges in separate phases in the last couple of days, the relevant wing of the Police Headquarters (PHQ) confirmed the matter to The Daily Star yesterday.
Of the 1,487, 40 are inspectors, 10 traffic inspectors, 179 sub-inspectors (SIs), eight sergeants, five town sub-inspectors (TSIs), 169 assistant sub-inspectors (ASIs), 19 assistant town sub-inspectors (ATSIs), 50 nayeks and 1,007 constables, said officials at the wing.
This is the biggest transfer move in any district police in recent history, said PHQ sources.
The sources said the total number of police personnel deployed in the district was around 1,515.
Although police high-ups said the move was a "regular administrative process", the sources said the "wholesale reshuffle" in Cox's Bazar was actually part of a "correction campaign" that followed the killing of retired army major Sinha Md Rashed Khan in the district.
Several police officials are facing trial for their involvement in the killing.
Meanwhile, Nur Mohammad, former inspector general of police (IGP), told The Daily Star yesterday that such decisions of transferring a huge number of police members are usually made when police personnel of a particular area are either found involved or feared to have been involved in crimes.
"But it is not possible to change [their] character only through transfer orders," he observed.
Their supervisors, including the superintendent of police (SP), the additional SP and the deputy inspector general concerned, must perform their duties with utmost professionalism, he said.
"The supervisors need to be vigilant. They have to oversee and take information round the clock about what is happening. Only then the real change will come," added the former IGP.
In another development, the police administration has already come up with posting orders for 1,507 police members -- from the ranks of inspector to constable -- against the posts which fell vacant following the transfers.
The police members have started to join work in Cox's Bazar, said PHQ sources.
According to the relevant wing of the PHQ, 43 inspectors, 10 traffic inspectors, 193 SIs, eight sergeants, five TSIs, 183 ASIs, 19 ATSIs, 46 nayeks and 1,000 constables will join police in the district in phases.
Till yesterday, around 1,340 police personnel, including eight officers-in-charge, 29 inspectors and constables have reported to the Chattogram Range Deputy Inspector General's office for joining work in Cox's Bazar.
The police personnel were posted in different districts, including Dhaka. They were sent to Cox's Bazar in 15 police vans, Anwar Hossain, DIG of Chattogram range police, told The Daily Star yesterday.
Among the newly appointed eight OCs of the district, Sheikh Munir-Ul Gias is going from Satkhira, Md Hafizur Rahman from Sirajganj, Ahmed Sanjur Morshed from Sunamganj, Mohammad Abdul Hai from Naogaon, Shaker Mohammad Jobaer from Gopalganj, KM Azmiruzzaman from Nilphamari, Mohammad Saifur Rahman Mazumdar from Dhaka Metropolitan Police and Mohammad Jalal Uddin from Moulvibazar.
Talking to this newspaper yesterday evening, Md Hasanuzzaman, superintendent of police of Cox's Bazar, said they received around 400 police officials till 5:00pm.
"We hope that all the 1,340 police officials will arrive within midnight. They will take charge immediately after reaching here," he added.
Earlier, the home ministry and the PHQ in separate orders had transferred the previous superintendent of police, additional superintendent of police and assistant superintendent of police of the district.
Besides, the Chattogram Range DIG and commissioner of Chattogram Metropolitan Police were also transferred.
All these developments came in the last couple of weeks.
Sources said the authorities would transfer the officials of eight other districts under Chattogram range in phases as a part of the "correction campaign".