A section of cops are getting involved in criminal offences despite repeated warnings of stern action from the police high-ups.
At least 19 police personnel, from constables to sub-inspectors, were suspended or closed for their alleged involvement in mugging, torturing and harassing common people in last one month alone, according to The Daily Star reports.
The incidents triggered widespread criticism with several rights activists terming the action taken against the cops “insufficient”.
Yesterday, five policemen, including three sub-inspectors of Shah Ali Police Station, were suspended in connection with the death of a tea vendor, Babul Matabbar.
He died of burns at Dhaka Medical College Hospital after he fell on a kerosene stove on Wednesday night. He had been pushed by a police informant who was accompanied by some cops out to pick him up from Mirpur.
Prof Mizanur Rahman, chairman of National Human Rights Commission, went to the hospital yesterday to see Babul but he died minutes earlier.
"The audacity of police has gone to an excessive level. It should be stopped right away,“ he told reporters there.
This year, police excess came in the limelight after Sub-inspector Masud Sikder of Mohammadpur Police station allegedly tortured Bangladesh Bank Assistant Director Golam Rabby for money on January 9.
Masud was suspended a week after the incident. The police force also warned its other officers and members of stern action if any such allegations were proved against them.
Even after the warning, at least eight similar incidents were reported.
On January 15, Dhaka South City Corporation Conservancy Officer Bikash Chandra Das was beaten up allegedly by Sub-inspector Arshadul Islam Akash and three constables of Jatrabari Police Station “for no reasons”. The next day, the SI was suspended.
Constable Mokhlesur Rahman of Barisal's Agoiljhara Police Station was closed on January 17 for allegedly assaulting a local Swechchhasebak League leader.
Two days later, Assistant Sub-inspector Aminul Islam of Kafrul Police Station in Dhaka was closed over allegations that he had demanded bribe from an NGO official and threatened to frame him for yaba possession.
Three cops of Uttara Paschim Police Station, including Sub-inspector Abdur Rauf Bahadur, were suspended on January 26 for allegedly harassing a businessman and his female friend for extortion money.
In Jessore, five police members, including Sub-inspector Ezazur Rahman of Jhikargachha Police Station, were closed to Jessore Police Lines on January 29. The action was taken against them on charges of snatching $3,000 from a Bangladesh-origin Swedish couple.
On February 1, a Dhaka court ordered a judicial inquiry into the allegation of sexual abuse of a university student by Sub-inspector Ratan Kumar and two constables of Adabar Police Station in the capital. Ratan was suspended afterwards.
Sub-inspector Rehan Uddin of Barisal Airport Police Station was suspended two days later after a police investigation found an allegation of extortion against him to be true. The SI allegedly took away Tk 11,000 from two persons after confining them to a local hotel.
Contacted, Muhammad Nurul Huda, a former inspector general of police, told The Daily Star that apart from strict departmental actions, the force must take legal actions against its members involved in criminal offences to stop repetition of incidents of police excess.