The comments of a deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) at a recent police conference show the prevalence of corruption in the postings of officers-in-charge and sub-inspectors. According to the DC, prospective OCs have to pay amounts as high as Tk 30 lakh to Tk 1.5 crore for their postings. The amount of bribes for transfers of sub-inspector also goes into the lakhs.
These amounts involved are staggeringly high—so much so that it would not be amiss to say that this initial corruption further fuels other corruption and irregularities we hear of. There have been many cases where victims of crimes have accused the police of not filing cases without graft. In many cases too, we see these officials granting impunity to criminals because they are monetarily influenced. When their initiation into these posts costs them so dearly, it is no wonder they are looking to earn back that money and more through their jobs. Not to mention the culture of bribery that is created. This too was pointed out by the DC when he said, “If an OC gets appointed by paying lakhs of taka in bribe, he will want to indulge in robbery, stealing and drug trading to make money.” Those are strong words, coming from the police themselves.
We are glad that this realisation has come from the police and they seem to be trying to purge the institution of the practice. Speaking ahead of further recruitments, the call for cooperation from the DC and other officials is timely. But we fear, calling for transparency is not enough. Strong measures must follow suit, and only through exemplary punishment of those found to be taking bribes can it be put to an end. We urge the police to heed the DC's call and work towards that goal.