Police defy home ministry order

PoliceAssault of UNO by ASI
Defying a home ministry directive to file a case against an assistant sub-inspector for an alleged assault on the Gazaria UNO, the police authorities on their own have formed a committee to decide whether the cop would be sued or not.

On March 22, Assistant Sub Inspector Mohammad Emdad of Lauhajang Police Station beat up Upazila Nirbahi Officer ATM Mahbub-ul-Karim in front of Gazaria UNO office in Munshiganj, according to the probe report of the district administration.

But another probe report, prepared by Dhaka range police, says the cop insulted the UNO but did not beat him up.

The ASI was suspended immediately after the incident.

Additional Home Secretary Nazim Uddin Chowdhury on March 23 ordered the Munshiganj superintendent of police to file a case against Emdad. The home ministry gave the same directive to the SP again on March 25 and 27.

Instead of carrying out the order, the police headquarters yesterday in a letter informed the ministry that they have formed the committee composed of police officials.

As per the letter, the committee did not mention any deadline for deciding action on Emdad, a top ministry official said.

Contacted, a top police official of Dhaka range said, “If we file the case, the ASI might sue the UNO in retaliation resulting in a face-off between police and local administration.”

Besides, some allegations brought by the UNO have been proved false, he added. “We are trying to settle the matter unofficially.”

After the incident, Additional Deputy Magistrate Nazrul Islam of Munshiganj district and Additional Deputy Inspector General Golam Faruque of Dhaka range conducted separate investigations.

ADM Nazrul said, “A few hours after the incident, I reached the spot and recorded statements of witnesses who said ASI Emdad pulled the UNO by his collar, beat him up and at one stage drew his gun even after the UNO gave his identity.”

But another top police official said the probe conducted by Golam Faruque found no evidence that the ASI beat up the UNO, or pointed a gun at him, or damaged polls documents.

“However, the ASI insulted the UNO by pulling him by collar and scolding,” he said citing the police probe report. “Emdad could not recognise the UNO.”

Contacted, UNO Mahbub-ul-Karim said it all started when Emdad tore off the electoral sticker of a car allocated for the ASI and his team to transport electoral materials and officers. Emdad demanded a vehicle of his choice.

“I mentioned my identity and told him, ‘How dare you tear out the sticker’,” he said. “The ASI in a violent reaction started scolding me. He swooped on me when I said I will teach him a good lesson.”
Emdad could not be reached over the phone for comments.

thedailystar