Bangladesh Police: Remain people’s friend forever
As a child, I used to run away in fear whenever I saw a policeman wearing a khaki dress. Despite not having the ability to analyze any good or bad, as a child, I was afraid of the police. Growing up, the fear of the police of the ignorant period began to mature by watching and reading about various kinds of negative activities of police on a daily basis.
Later I realized that this fear is not only mine, but most of the common people of this country. And this may be the reason why no one easily seeks help from the police even if they are in danger. Allegedly, common people do not step on their feet to the police station unless they are forced to. And even if someone seeks legal help with any problem in the police station, most of them have bitter experience.
Bangladesh Police is intimately involved with the people. This force is responsible for maintaining law and order in the country, preventing adulteration, curbing militancy, prosecuting aspirants, curbing crime, assisting in the establishment of justice, minimizing traffic congestion and maintaining order on the roads, including special security protocols for VIPs. In addition, police is involved in many ways with the history of our freedom struggle. The first armed resistance against the Pakistani aggressors was formed by the members of the police force. Despite all the performances and contribution to the society, a wall of mistrust and suspicion has been built between the police and the common people of this country and it has stayed for a long time.
The first corona patient was identified on March 8 in Bangladesh. The police force is one of the frontline fighters who have been fighting against the Corona situation since its inception. About 10,000 police members have been infected with the corona virus and more than 30 members breathe their last till now. They were infected with the corona virus while serving the country and its people during this pandemic. Bangladesh Police is currently the most admired force in the country for their humanitarian activities.
There are many humanitarian activities that BD police is performs during this epidemic. Under current situation, when house owner attempt to evict the tenants illegally from the house at midnight, police comes forward to arrange shelter for the helpless people. Relatives are fleeing, leaving loved ones on the streets fearing Coronavirus. Policemen are treating the sick.
While the relatives are not coming forward to entomb the body of the deceased in Corona, the police are arranging the funeral in accordance with the religious rites of the deceased. Policemen are providing food for the unprivileged hungry people. They are pouring water on the heads of people who have fallen ill on the streets. They are working yet at all times to create awareness about coronavirus among the people of the country and making sure lockdown.
In Corona past period, Bangladeshis usually deem the police to beat any peaceful democratic movement, to suppress a particular political party, to be involved in extrajudicial killings, to prosecute in absentia, to indict innocent people. Police has repeatedly made itself negative headlines by getting involved in illegal activities. The public interest works of the police at normal time surpassed by so many dishonest activities.
The police who are now on the side of the people during the Corona period, before Corona, the people of this country had many allegations against that force. The question is what happened in the police force overnight that resulted in their humane and responsible behavior? Speaking with some police officers, I realized that one of the most obstacles of the police in the way to be a friend of the common people is the powerful persons who disrespect law and unjustly they use their influence to make the police stand against mass people interest.
The police are forced to obey the authorities for the sake of their own, his family's safety and job. And those who ignore all kinds of adversity and stand against the miscreant have to endure various deprivations and insults as well as have to face unsought incidents. Another major problem is corruption in police recruitment. When an incompetent person becomes a member of the police force in exchange for a large sum of money, he naturally becomes corrupt in his working life.
Since the political influence on the police has let up during the coronavirus, the police are now able to function independently. And for several years now, there have been no serious allegations of corruption in police recruitment. As a result, a positive change has begun to take place in the police department. The humane and responsible behavior of the police during the epidemic is results of that indeed.
Bangladesh has already passed several months of corona infection. During this time the situation in Corona did not improve but deteriorated. The country's economy has been facing hardship due to lockdown for a long time. Hunger, poverty, unemployment is on the rise. At the same time, we are afraid of death. The situation will not improve very quickly, it is easy to guess. Still as frontline fighters, the policemen are working relentlessly in the interest of the country. I wish them good health and at the same time congratulate them for their benevolence.
The humane role and responsible conduct of the police during the epidemic has created an opportunity to rethink about the Bangladesh Police. People have already started thinking of the police as friends. The police force should now break down the wall of long-standing mistrust of the people and at the same time, act in a way that does not hurt people's faith again. We do expect the Bangladesh Police will stand beside the common people like a friend not only during the pandemic, but also in normal situation.
The writer is a columnist