Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday (January 3) asked police to sustain peoples’ trust with dedicated services and enhanced humane attitude among its personnel, promising her government’s all out support to turn it as a world standard law enforcement agency.
“You (police personnel) will serve the people with the utmost humanitarian perspective,” she said while inaugurating in person a six-day Police Week-2023 in the capital's Rajarbagh Police Lines, and asked them to keep up their good deeds.
Sheikh Hasina simultaneously urged police to work with an approach to sustain people's confidence on them, expecting the law enforcement agency to be a friendly force as envisioned by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The premier opened the Police Week in person this year after a gap of two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, when she greeted members of the force for their pro-people service.
Police aviation wing
She promised to build a world standard "Smart Police" force having good professional knowledge and training and equipped with supports of state of art technologies and scientific inventions.
The premier said works were underway to develop a police aviation wing to turn the law enforcement agency as a three-dimensional force while the government was now set to procure initially to procure two Russian-made helicopters as part of the plan.
"We have already taken measures to buy two helicopters from Russia to make the police as three dimensional force and a process is going on to form a separate aviation unit (of it)," she said.
Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan, public security division’s senior secretary M Aminul Islam Khan and Inspector General of Police (IGP) Chowdhury Abdullah Al-Mamun received the premier as she arrived the Rajarbagh Police Lines.
Several police contingents in a synchronized approach offered her an honour guard and she then inspected the parade getting onboard an open jeep.
The premier later handed over Bangladesh Police Medal (BPM) Bravery, President Police Medal (PPM) Bravery, BPM-Service and PPM-Service to 117 police officials for earning pride for the force by setting exemplary standard of bravery and commitment, endangering their lives in the past one year.
Of them, 17 have received the BPM-Bravery and 25 got the PPM-Bravery while 25 got BPM Service and 50 got the PPM-Service awards.
Cabinet members, parliament members and senior government officials witnessed the ceremony which began with the playing of the national anthem.
Sheikh Hasina said her government was working to build a developed and prosperous "Sonar Bangladesh" which was expected to entirely get rid of hunger and poverty by 2041.
"Bangladesh (by 2041) will be a Smart Bangladesh in knowledge, science and technology. The digital devices will be used in every sphere of life --- business, trade, education and health,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the country’s police force would be built as well in a smarter way by giving them education on science and technology and proper training.
The prime minister also asked the police to be alert against conspiracies being hatched against Bangladesh.
"There are many conspiracies against Bangladesh . . . plots are being hatched when Bangladesh advances towards prosperity," she said recalling that the August 15, 1975 carnage was the outcome of such conspiracies.
She thanked the then officer-in-charge of Ramna Police Station as he took prompt measures to send injured to the hospital, for which, her paternal aunt and two of her paternal cousins survived.
The prime minister recalled the courageous role of police risking their lives to tackle the arson terrorism of the BNP-Jamaat clique in 2013-2015 in the name of hartals and strikes that saw some 500 deaths and 3,500 burn injuries.
Sheikh Hasina also noted with appreciation police actions in breaking militant networks following the Holy Artisan incident, brightening Bangladesh image abroad.
She said police also proved its worth in checking the smuggling and human trafficking.
The premier praised women members of the force saying beyond the country’s territory they achieved a global fame for their professional and sincere works in the United Nations peace keeping missions.
After the 1975 massacre, she said, none can think that the Awami League will assume power, but by the grace of Allah her party was entrusted with the responsibility to run the country for four terms, three in a row.
"Bangladesh has attained the status of a developing nation as we have been in power for a long period. We have been able to work for every institution including the Bangladesh Police," she said.
The prime minister said her government never let the blood of millions of martyrs go in vain, by allowing Bangladesh to be a failed state.
She said Bangladesh must march ahead keeping the pace of development though the world was now going through an economic recession.
Sheikh Hasina reiterated her call to grow more food, bringing every inch of land under cultivation as Bangladesh could not be hit by the global recession and food crisis.
"You all have to grow something at your work places so Bangladesh is never faced with food crisis in view of the global economic meltdown," she said.
She Hasina said when Awami League assumed office in 1996, her government had outright doubled the police budget from Tk 400 crore while it ensured ration for surviving and retired police personnel introduced risk allowances for active personnel of the force.
Sheikh Hasina recalled that for the first time in country’s history, a female officer was promoted as a police superintendent (SP) in 1998.
She said her tenure saw the establishment of the Police Staff College, 25 police stations, 86 investigation centres, 58 highway police outposts, 150 police camps alongside appointment of 803 sub inspectors, 507 sergeants, 14,680 constables.
The premier said her government had developed the Police Welfare Trust by giving Tk 5 crore as seed money.
She said since 2009, her government took various measures to turn Bangladesh Police as modern and people friendly force and addressed its departmental issues including promotions, increasing posts for grade-1 and 2.
Sheikh Hasina said the police force found the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) and units like Tourist Police, River Police, Special Security and Protection Battalion, Industrial Police, Anti-Terrorism Unit (ATU) and Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime Unit (CTTC).
She said two armed police battalions and a RAB one were raised in Rohingya camps to ensure their security.
The prime minister said that DNA labs, automated finger print identification systems (AFIS) and modern forensic labs were established in police, adding that such labs would be built in every division in future.
She said against the backdrop of growing concerns involving cyber crimes, “a complete cyber police unit will be formed soon”.
The premier steps were taken to develop the Central Police Hospital and build divisional police hospitals adding works were underway to build a divisional hospital in Dhaka.