Police Service Association wants more caution in publishing reports on police

Bangladesh Police Service Association logofrom the associations Facebook page

The Bangladesh Police Service Association has said that in recent times partial, motivated and indiscriminate  reports about former and serving members of the Bangladesh police are being published serially in the news media (print and electronic) and the social media. The organisation has strongly protested against this.

The Police Service Association, in a press release issued today, Friday, has called for more caution to be followed and journalistic principles to be duly maintained in future when reporting on the police.

Various reports have appeared in the media in recent times concerning the wealth and assets of the former inspector general of police (IGP) Benazir Ahmed and his family, as well as of former Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) commissioner Asaduzzaman Miah and his family. Benazir and his family left the country after the Anti-Corruption Commission began investigating his  wealth.

In this backdrop, the Police Service Association held a meeting at the police headquarters auditorium on Thursday. Some of those present at the meeting even demanded that legal action against those involved in publishing such news. The Police Service Association press release was issued the day after the meeting.

President of the Police Service Association and additional IGP of the police's Special Branch (SB), Md Munirul Islam, and the association's general secretary, Narayanganj district police super Golam Mustafa Russel signed the press release.

According to the press release, certain media was publishing offensive and  negative news reports against certain police officers out of personal vengeance and self-interests, which goes against journalistic ethics. Under these circumstances, it is natural to raise the question as to why, in whose interests and to implement whose mandate are certain media outlets involved in spreading such rumours against the police.

The police have always maintained the policy of 'zero tolerance' against corruption, the release said. It said, if allegations of corruption are proven against any member of the police, they are not given any leeway. Departmental action as well as legal action is taken.

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The press release went on to say that the media is the mirror of society. Constructive criticism from the media is always welcomed. But they want to  protest against any partial or fragmented news published in the media. The media should expose a holistic picture and unveil the truth. The media reports should be truthful and objective.

The Police Service Association said that the news media is duty bound to the public to provide objective news, but for some mysterious reason a section of the press very craftily is rendering the police force controversial and put them on trial, which is yellow journalism that muffles the voice of honest journalism. Such a one-sided stance of the media is akin to cheating the people. Such unscrupulous journalism seems to be an effort to break the morale of the honest, sincere, profession and patriotic members of the police force. It was feared that this would have an adverse effect on their performing their professional duties.

The Police Service Association says that it should be seen whether such misreporting is aimed to encourage criminals and is part of a conspiracy against the country. It cannot be dismissed that this is an effort to harm the people who seek police service, that is, the country and the nation as a whole.

The press release said that the police never expects such unprofessional journalism from the media. In the interests of public safety, it requested that the media refrains from publishing such misleading reports.

The press release issued by the Police Service Association, the organisation of the police's BCS cadre officers, highlighted Bangladesh police's integrity, their contribution to the liberation war, their role in uprooting terrorism and militancy, their role during the pandemic and more. It said, the police force is an over century-old institution. At the call of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, during the great war of liberation the Bengali members of the police built up armed resistance against the Pakistan occupational forces who were equipped with advanced weaponry. From back them down till today, the members of Bangladesh police have never hesitated to even sacrifice their lives in the interests of the people during any crisis.

The Police Service Association went on to say that at one time the people of the country were gripped in fear because dominance of extreme communalism, militancy and terrorism. The southwest region of the country was the stronghold of extremists. Bangladesh police played a courageous role to free this region of terrorism. At the same time, with support of the people, the police have been able to control the rise of globally-instigated extreme terrorism in the country. The police force has been lauded globally for their role in uprooting terrorism. Bangladesh is recognised as a role model in dealing with terrorism.

The police do not simply uphold law and order. They have never hesitated to come forward and risk their lives to stand by the people during manmade or natural disasters, the release said. It said, during the pandemic, the police did not care about their own lives but became a humanitarian police force. During the pandemic, the police implemented the quarantine and lockdown restrictions, took ailing people to hospital and delivered drugs and food to people's homes. During the worst humanitarian crisis, people would abandon their family members' dead bodies, but the police would come forward to ensure burials or cremations. A total of 109 police members sacrificed their lives in the service of people during the Covid pandemic. Even then they did not falter in their service for the people and remained steadfast in their duty.

A handful of media outlets, inspired by fugitive cyber terrorists, are rendering the role of the professional police force controversial in a storm of malicious propaganda

The Police Service Association release went on to say that because of the police's successful role against the anti-independence communal forces and the sabotages by quarters against democracy and the country, and those involved in damaging property, hurling petrol bombs and so on, these quarters see the police as their adversaries and is constantly criticising the force.

The cyber-terrorists of the anti-independence quarters living overseas serially spread false and exaggerated reports on the social media in character assassination against the police. Following their footsteps, certain media outlets published motivated negative reports that appear to be aimed at tarnishing the image of the police.

The press release said in most cases these reports did not mention the source of their information. Such concocted reports with no sources harm the morale and image of the professional police force. A handful of media outlets, inspired by fugitive cyber terrorists, are rendering the role of the professional police force controversial in a storm of malicious propaganda.

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