Caught in their own trap!: Despicable decay of police ethics

The Daily Star  August 12, 2020

Crime never pays and that was what some police personnel of Pallabi Thana discovered to their great distress, once again adding to the already long list of gross police misdeeds. The details of the matter would put any criminal to shame, given the nature of the act of crookedness of these policemen. And that is how they have been described—crooked policemen, by their superior officer while commenting on the incident. These policemen wanted to implicate supporters of a local Awami League leader at the instigation and a promised bribe of Tk 2 crore, by another leader belonging to the same party of that area. Unfortunately for them, the bombs they carried inside the police station to fulfil their criminal mission exploded, giving them away, and in the process injuring four of their colleagues and a civilian.

One would be misled to take the incident as merely another case of taking bribe by the police, a culture that has come to be very deeply ingrained in the police culture. It betrays the deep influence of politics on the police. While this is a trait not unique or exclusive to any political party or regime, since such has been the demonstrated attribute from the time of our inception, the impact over the last decade of the numerous criminal and illegal acts by the police on the state of law and order have been extremely profound. While in the past we have seen the police being used by the ruling party to go after political opponents, there being no opposition at the moment worth the name, different factions of the ruling party are using the police to sort each other out. The police work for the stronger of the two groups, both in terms of money and political clout.

This incident is a fair representation of how cases are distorted, course of investigation are diverted, serious charges are diluted and the course of justice corrupted, by such “crooked” police officials. We would like to think that these “crooked” officials are exceptions, but records show otherwise. The malaise is deep-rooted, and a complete overhaul is essential in the way the police functions and how it is governed.


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