Buoyed by the recent in-situ or supernumerary promotion in large numbers, the police sent the government another list of 280 officials, ranging from superintendent of police to additional inspector general, for promotion.
The police headquarters forwarded the list to the home ministry on January 8, a police high-up told The Daily Star, seeking anonymity.
In November last year, the government promoted 230 additional SPs to SPs in situ amid police officials' demand for promotion.
An in-situ official is someone who continues to hold the same office and perform the same duties despite being promoted to a higher position. Since no post is currently vacant in the department's top tier, the police headquarters came up with the British-era in-situ formula for promotion.
The fresh police proposal came just a week after the December 30 parliamentary election in which the ruling Awami League and its allies won by a landslide, securing 288 seats.
Transparency International Bangladesh, which conducted a survey on 50 out of 299 constituencies, observed on January 15 that the role of a section of polling officers and law enforcement agencies was biased. The Election Commission and the AL, however, rejected the findings.
On July 4 last year, the police headquarters sent a proposal to the home ministry for promotion of 495 officials, ranging from additional SPs to additional IGs, based on the in-situ formula. And the government promoted 230 officials in November.
The headquarters later prepared another proposal with a list of 265 officials, who didn't get promotion in November. Fifteen more officials were included in the list as they became eligible for promotion in the meantime.
According to the proposal, the government agreed in principal to create in-situ posts for the 265 officials in consultation with the secretary and the minister concerned.
It also mentioned that the promotion in November boosted the morale of field-level officers.
The proposal recommended that SPs in 29 districts be made additional deputy inspectors general (DIG) in situ.
There is a severe shortage of posts in top tiers compared to lower tiers of police cadre. This is a big obstacle to ensuring work spirit, morale and discipline, and bringing dynamism in leadership positions of the force, it said.
There are only 15 posts of additional IG and 62 posts of DIG in the police force that has 2.12 lakh members.
Though manpower in the force has increased significantly in the last two tenures of the AL-led government, 37 DIGs, who have been serving in the force for 28 to 31 years, are still waiting to be promoted to grade-II. Similar scenario prevails at other levels, it added.
SM Aktaruzzaman, additional DIG (organisation and management) at the police headquarters, said, “There is a serious dearth of posts from grade-V to grade-I in the department. A bottleneck has been created...”
In-situ promotion is needed because some police officials superseded others, who are performers and have a clean image, he pointed out.
“We work hard and take risks ... I hope the government will give us promotion,” he added.
Preferring anonymity, a senior police official said that if the latest proposal is approved, it would quell disappointment among many officials, who have been holding the same rank for years.
Talking to this newspaper, a number of recently promoted SPs said the police officials, who will be promoted to additional DIGs in situ, will not see any changes in their responsibilities.
“A police officer's dream is to serve as an SP. If the would-be additional DIGs continue to serve as SPs even after promotion, we will be deprived,” said an official promoted in November, requesting anonymity.
The latest police proposal follows a series of promotion in the administration cadre service, which has long been struggling with a huge number of in-situ officials and officers on special duty (OSD).
As of September last year, there were 616 additional secretaries against 121 posts, 761 joint secretaries against 384 posts and 1,604 deputy secretaries against 1,234 posts. And most of them are in-situ officials.