DCs fear breakdown in chain of commandMustafizur Rahman
Field administrations have plunged into an upheaval with the deputy commissioners fearing a breakdown in the chain of command because of ‘non-cooperation of the police’ in their functions.
District administrators are now seeking intervention of higher authorities in ensuring that the police serve local administrations in keeping with the law.
They are so doing in the wake of an incident in which the police attacked an assistant commissioner (land) in Feni in the past week, officials said.
More than a dozen deputy commissioners on Wednesday expressed their concerns in writing to the cabinet secretary, Mohammad Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, and asked for immediate measures to ensure that the police cooperate with the administration officials in carrying out state responsibilities in the field, a senior official at the Cabinet Division said.
‘A number of deputy commissioners have expressed their concerns in writing after the Feni incident.… The home ministry has already set up a committee to look into the matter,’ Musharraf told New Age.
Asked whether the government is taking any move to address the situation in the field, the cabinet secretary said that it was a policy issue and needed to be resolved at an appropriate level.
The home ministry on Monday set up the three-member committee to investigate the attack by police
officers on Feni sadar upazila assistant commissioner (land) Nazrul Islam.
The deputy commissioners, who are also ex officio presidents of the Bangladesh Administrative Service Association of district units, sent copies of resolutions after holding meetings on the matter to the cabinet secretary, demanding trial of the police officers responsible for the incident under the Code of Criminal Procedure.
On May 3, the Feni sadar police officer-in-charge, Md Nazim Uddin, sub-inspector Saiful Islam and a number of constables tried to stop an eviction drive by executive magistrates to reclaim government land in the district town.
During the incident that took place on the Dhaka–Chittagong Trunk Road in Feni, the assistant commissioner (land) and a number of local officials on duty were assaulted.
‘We are concerned about the present situation. The total administrative system will collapse if discipline is not maintained in the civil service. Anyone responsible for breach of discipline must be punished,’ Dhaka’s deputy commissioner Md Mohibul Haque told New Age.
The resolution sent by the Kishoreganj deputy commissioner, Md Siddiqur Rahman, said that it should be ensured that the police discharge their responsibilities in keeping with the ‘police act/police regulations, Code of Criminal Procedure and other laws.’
The Narayanganj deputy commissioner, Manoj Kanti Baral, urged the government to give back the ‘power of cognisance’ to executive magistrates which they enjoyed before the separation of judiciary from the executive in November 2007.
About 30 officials of the administration cadre called on the home minister, Sahara Khatun, at the secretariat on Monday morning seeking redress. They demanded removal and punishment of the police officials concerned.
Sahara assured the officials of action after submission of the investigation report.
The aggrieved officials also met separately the prime minister’s adviser on administrative affairs, HT Imam, the cabinet secretary Mosharraf Hossain and senior secretary to the public administration ministry Abdus Sobhan Sikder.
The incident caused a commotion in the top and field administrations, affecting the routine activities in civil bureaucracy, according to officials.
In 2010, deputy commissioners at their annual conference sought the authority to report on the activities of police officials in their jurisdiction to the government for maintenance of law and order which sparked adverse reaction among the police officers, who are also part of the civil administration.
The deputy commissioners alleged that they could not play an effective role in the keeping of law and order as superintendents of police were always reluctant to come to the district law and order meetings presided over by a deputy commissioner.
But police always brush aside the allegations saying that if the superintendents of police could not manage time, a representative would be sent to the meetings.
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