Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has always desired to seeing janatar police (people’s police) in the Bangladesh Police.
In January this year, on the occasion of Police Week 2020, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked the members of Bangladesh Police to be more people-friendly. She also said people’s confidence and trust in the police have increased to a great extent than the past.
The Prime Minister said: “In fact, the police have to be for the public so that people can have faith, confidence in them and stand by police”.
Sheikh Hasina praised the role of police in containing terrorism, militancy and drug abuse and asked them to further strengthen their ongoing drives to root out terrorism and narcotics.
“A society free from terrorism, communalism, militancy and drugs is indispensable to turn the youth into a skilled manpower,” she said reminding the force of her government’s “zero-tolerance policy” against terrorism, militancy and drugs.
The Prime Minister reminded all policemen of the force’s glorious role in the Liberation War in 1971 and its subsequent contributions to maintain law and order and protecting public security in different national crises.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is now being treated as a role model of development in the international world and added that the nation now expects police to play their part in advancing Bangladesh’s development being imbued with the spirit of liberation war and patriotism.
She said Bangladesh gave shelter to more than 1.1 million forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals on completely humanitarian grounds. “Police is playing a commendable role in ensuring security of the Rohingya camps and maintaining law and order there.”
Sheikh Hasina said the anti-liberation communal forces made sinister attempts to destabilize the country in 2013, 2014 and 2015. “They unleashed terror and ruined state properties through strikes, blockades, violence, and torching and killing of innocent people.”
“But police members prevented those subversive activities with the highest professionalism and restored peace and confidence in the society,” the prime minister added.
It may be mentioned here that, Bangladesh police this year observed the Police Week 2020 with Mujib Borsho [birth centennial of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman] with the theme – “Mujib Borsher Ongikar, Police Hobey Janatar” (Pledge of the Mujib Borsho, police will be for the people).
Although members of Bangladesh Police have always been dedicated to serving the people of the country with the commitment of truly emerging as people’s police, there had always been a kind of gap between the police and the people, mostly because of adverse propaganda by some unscrupulous politicians and a segment of the media.
Describing the role of Bangladesh Police, Dr Benazir Ahmed wrote on the organization’s official website: “Originally created to serve the interests of the colonial authority of the far past, Bangladesh Police, now imbued with the spirit of freedom and independence, has come through a paradigm shift and become the symbol of rule of law. The dawn of this new journey was our great war of liberation when, in response to the clarion call of Bangabandhu, father of the nation, the undaunted members of this force chose to be the vanguards of a life-staking armed resistance against the brutal aggression to our beloved motherland. Since then we have been changing every day in every ways and today policing here is pro-people, proactive, community-oriented, technology-based and sensitized to issues regarding human rights, gender and children. Particularly, in the last four and a half years Bangladesh police has undergone radical changes in terms of professional amelioration, capacity building and service delivery, thanks to the personal and initiatives of the Honorable Prime Minister in this regard.
“Today we are fully committed to upholding the rule of law and ensuring a society safe for all to live and work, pray and play, and for the democracy to prosper and flourish.
“We are for the community. So, our focus is on building stronger trust with the community, and we consider the responsible members of the community our most potential weapons in the battle against all sorts of chaos and criminality”.
Has Bangladesh Police emerged into janatar police?
Answer to this question is affirmative. After many years, people of Bangladesh are feeling emotionally attached to each of the members of Bangladesh Police, as they have been dedicatedly and selflessly helping people during these extremely tough and challenging days of the coronavirus pandemic, despite the fact, by now over one thousand members of Bangladesh Police have already got infected with coronavirus, while some of them have died.
It may be mentioned here that, members of Bangladesh Police remain vulnerable to contracting the novel coronavirus while working in the field to ensure people’s safety amid a lack of adequate safety equipment. In addition, police are disinfecting streets, assisting working people — to ensure social distancing in lockdown — taking people to hospitals for treatment and locating people who have escaped quarantine, making them extremely vulnerable to the virus. Still, their determination of serving the people remains undeterred. In Bangladesh Police, people of the country are seeing those saviours, who are not only working for maintaining law and order but are doing everything possible on their part, just to make sure, they can help in reducing people’s sufferings during these challenging days of the pandemic.
For the less-privileged of the society, Bangladesh Police is already continuing distributing relief materials since the outbreak of the coronavirus. Bangladesh Police has also donated two hundred million takas to the Prime Minister’s relief fund to help combat the coronavirus pandemic. This amount came from the one-day salary of the police ranging from a constable to the Inspector General of Police, Bangladesh Police Service Association (BPSA), Police Officers’ Mess, and Police Welfare Trust.
Ever-since the coronavirus outbreak, Mahbub Hossain, Additional Inspector General of the Special Branch, in addition to the relief activities of Bangladesh Police has also been continuing praiseworthy relief works in Munshiganj district from his own resources.
Mr. Mahbub Hossain, as part of his human commitments, is trying to wholeheartedly do everything possible for the coronavirus affected people as well as less-privileged of the society in his ancestral district.
Talking to me he said: “It is our combined determination to emerge as janatar police (people’s police), which has been the dream of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. People of Bangladesh are seeing, how the members of Bangladesh Police are dedicatedly working day-and-night defying their personal health concerns during this challenging time of coronavirus pandemic. We are trying our best to coordinate the distribution of relief to those in need. Risking our personal health and lives, we are helping in cremation and burial of those killed by the pandemic. Even, during odd hours of the night, we are being called by various tenants to solve their conflicts with their house-owners. We do consider helping people as our noble responsibility. In my opinion, Bangladesh Police has already emerged as the janatar police, and this is our biggest gift to the Father of the Nation on his birth centenary”.
I do fully agree with this senior official of Bangladesh Police. There is no doubt, members of Bangladesh Police have already succeeded in winning the hearts of the people of this country. Every day, people are applauding the praiseworthy role of the members of the Bangladesh Police. Lots of the people are publishing status of the social media accounts saying – “Police is our friend in need”.
I offer my deepest condolences to the families of those members of Bangladesh Police who have sacrificed their lives during this crucial time. I also pray for the quick recovery of those infected members of janatar police. Their spirit of dedicating lives deserves the utmost respect and appreciation of the entire nation.
Truly, members of Bangladesh Police have proved themselves as janatar police, finally!
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is an internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-jihadist journalist, counter-terrorism specialist and editor of Blitz