Salary, Eid Bonus of 38 SPS: Uncertainty over payment of dues goes
Thirty-eight SPs, who had gone without Eid bonuses or any salary for the last two months due to complications over their posting in Rab, will finally get their salaries as they were attached to Police Headquarters last week.
The home ministry issued a circular on July 25 which said the 38 officers of BCS police cadres have been attached to the PHQ, cancelling their postings as deputy directors in Rab so that they can finally withdraw salaries and allowances.
They were among 48 superintendents of police (SPs) who were posted to the Rapid Action Battalion through a home ministry order issued on May 16. They joined the elite force on May 18, but 38 of them did not get an internal posting order in Rab, causing frustration among them.
"The home ministry transferred us to Rab with the president's order, but we are yet to be posted," said one of the officers recently, requesting anonymity.
"In my 13-year service life, I have made many sacrifices for my duty. I hardly get any leave. But now I am sitting idle and without a salary for two months. Nothing can be more frustrating than this," the officer told The Daily Star.
"Some of my batchmates are in financial hardship; they are struggling to provide for their families. They could not sacrifice animals on Eid," said another SP.
Enraged, he said they were now seemingly out of service without doing any misdeed. "It is a serious administrative failure," he added.
Only nine of them were internally posted on July 1 to various Rab battalions. Another SP among those posted in Rab was earlier suspended by the home ministry after his conversation with a police officer demeaning Rab was leaked.
Although Rab sources said the police officers could not be posted in Rab as there were only nine vacant deputy director posts, in an order on May 23, Rab Director General Chowdhury Abdullah Al-Mamun posted 32 Major or equivalent post officers of the armed forces to deputy director posts in Rab.
PHQ is now working to create new posts in various police units to ensure the postings of these officers in the quickest possible time, said PHQ officials.
They said the 48 SPs were posted in Rab against a 44 percent quota allocated by the home ministry for police during Rab's formation in 2004.
In the office order issued by the ministry on August 21, 2004, it was determined that 44 percent of Rab's manpower would be drawn from the Armed Forces Division, 44 percent from the police, six percent from the Border Guards Bangladesh, four percent from the Ansar and Village Defense Party, and one percent each from the Coast Guard and civil administration on deputation.
The order also said this quota would remain allocated for the respective division, force, or organisation. If there was any shortage of officers in one or more posts, those would be filled by officers from another division, force, or organisation, but would not hamper the quota allocation.
But complications arose after Rab informed the home ministry that as per the Rab organogram, only nine SP-ranked officers can be posted as deputy director or company commander.
Rab officials said the SPs have all along been showing unwillingness to join Rab, which is why the deputy director posts were filled up by Majors or equivalent rank officers of the armed forces on deputation and as per government orders issued from time to time -- decreasing the quota of police in deputy director posts.
"Immediately after the posting of 48 SPs, a series of high-level meetings involving the home minister, a senior secretary at the ministry, IGP [inspector general of police], director general of Rab and others concerned were held to resolve the issue, but failed to settle it," an official said, requesting anonymity. Officials from the Prime Minister's Office also took part in one of the meetings, he added.
Rab, which started its journey with five battalions and 5,521 posts, now has 15 battalions with 11,700 posts. Total manpower of the elite force now stands at 9,520.
There are 108 posts for deputy director or company commander in Rab -- with 97 officers from the armed forces, nine from the police, and one each from the civil administration and Ansar posted on deputation, said the Rab official.
Against such a backdrop, PHQ transferred 50 officials of the rank of additional SP and assistant SP on May 27 from Rab to various police units.
Signed by Inspector General of Police Benazir Ahmed, the transfer order asked the officials to hand over charge by June 3, else they will be considered stand-released the following day.
Finally, the government decided that PHQ would create new SP, additional deputy inspector general (additional DIG), and DIG posts to accommodate 38 SPs, said a top police official. Following the decision, Rab posted nine of the SPs.
The post for SPs and Majors or equivalent rank officers of the Air Force and Navy in Rab is deputy director or company commander. But since the formation of Rab, SP-ranked officers have shown unwillingness to work in these posts at Rab.
Explaining the reason for this unwillingness, an SP said it takes them many years to work up to that rank as they enter police service after completing their graduation while it take much less time for an army, navy or air force officer to become a Major or equivalent ranked officer as they enter the service after passing the HSC or equivalent degree.
Contacted, Commander Khandaker Al Moin, director (legal and media wing) of Rab, said nine SPs have already been posted and they will take measures upon the government decision regarding the others.