Present government committed to improve overall condition of Highway Police – says DIG Asaduzzaman, PPM

--Interview by Mohammad Lincoln

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The Highway police are one of the important and significant units of the Bangladesh Police. This unit came into being on 11 June 2005 which has come into force under the government notification No. M/Home (P-3)/post-15/2004/ 1156 dated 27 November 2005. The unit has been regulated under Section 12 of Police Act, 1861 which had been promulgated on 23 July 2009 by the order of Inspector General of Police made under S.R.O No.198-Act/2009.

It can investigate offences only under the Motor Vehicles Ordinance 1983.  In the most densely populated country like Bangladesh, the highway police have a vast prospect to contribute to developmental growth by thrusting people and vehicles’ smooth movement on the highway for enhancing trade and commerce inside the country and increase overseas export indirectly. Furthermore, the rationale behind establishing the Highway Police is to put in place a robust but innovative pro-people service leading to creating an emanation of accidentless and risk-free highway.

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Afterwards, the Highway Police are entrusted with the responsibilities to:

w         Maintain law and order situation on highway;

w         Investigate highway road accident case;

w         Prevent highway crime;

w         Collect and disseminate of intelligence;

w         Patrol in highway;

w         Recover drugs and narcotics;

w         Recover illegal firearms;

w         Recover smuggled goods;

w         Arrest suspected persons.

The Highway police execute the following tasks so far as investigation is concerned:

w         Prosecute against faulty and illegal vehicles along with drivers;

w         Maintain and ensure discipline of the bus, truck terminal, parking area etc;

w         Enforce traffic rules on the highway;

w         Ensure road safety;

w         Manage roads of traffic;

w         Control traffic;

w         Remove road blockage.

The unit is headed by a Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police. Since its inception in 2005, a total of eight (08) DIGs became the head of the unit, including current head, DIG Md. Asaduzzaman Mia, PPM, a pioneer senior police officer of repute who has already ornamented the most craving highest capacity like Dhaka Range, Chittagong Range and Khulna Range of Bangladesh Police.

The Highway police have four regions: Comilla Region, Bogra Region, Madaripur Region and Gazipur Region. Every Region is headed by a Superintendent of Police. Comilla Region’s headquarters is in Comilla having 2 zones, respectively in Comilla and Chittagong. Bogra Region includes 2 zones namely Bogra zone and Rangpur zone. Madaripur Region is comprised of 2 zones such as Jessore zone and Faridpur zone. Gazipur Region consists of 3 zones such as Gazipur zone, Narayangonj zone and Sylhet zone. Besides, we have proposed Savar zone under Gazipur Region which is under process to be established. An Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) is the focal person to carry out the responsibilities of a zone.

There are 3 more Regions, namely Sylhet Region, Jessore Region and Rangpur Region have been proposed by the Police Headquarters which are under process with the Ministry of Public Administration. In addition to this, another new Highway Police wing called Highway Intelligence Wing is going to be formed where a number of 463 highway police staff including  one SP, one Addl. SP, one Sr. ASP, 8 Inspectors, 81 Sub-Inspectors, 58 Assistant Sub- Inspectors, and 312 constables will be recruited to carry out the intended highway intelligence tasks to keep pace with the ultra modern criminal activities which have to be incidentally appropriate and timely effective to curb the reins on the rampant prevalence of narcotics, arms smuggling, theft, robbery, dacoity  etc.

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DIG Asaduzzaman is a committed, smart and brave police officer and also a man of delicate taste. Under his able leadership, the Highway Police is going to have a new dimension and new look. This unit has a future plan to inaugurate Administration and Planning Wing, and Operations and Traffic Management Wing. The respected DIG will directly provide oversight to the two divisions of Highway Police, namely Administration and Planning as well as Operations and Traffic Management. Admini-stration and Planning wing remains 9 employees including one SP, one Addl. SP, one SI, one ASI, one Seargeant, one computer operator and 3 constables. Operations and Traffic Management Wing remains 8 employees including one SP, one Addl. SP, one SI, one ASI, one steno-typist and 3 constables. A new proposal of a Division, Special Affairs Wing has been made where there will be 12 employees including one SP, one Addl. SP, one ASP, one Inspector, two SI, two ASI, 1 steno-typist and three constables.

With a view to keeping the forces physically sound, the necessity of Highway Police Lines is very significant. In order to combat traffic jam, and cope up with the unwanted accident along with criminal activities and to accommodate the ceremonial incidents like Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Azha, Puja, Bishwa Ijtema and Pohela Boishakh, this unit has proposed 7 Highway Police Lines which will be located at Comilla Region, Gazipur Region, Borga Region, Madaripur Region, Sylhet Region, Jessore Region, and Rangpur Region. In every proposed Highway Police Line, there will be 137 police force including one Inspector (AB), 4 Sub-Inspectors (AB), 8 Assistant Sub-Inspectors (AB), 4 Naiks and 120 constables. Furthermore, the intended adequate human resources will be useful to maintain and operate Armoury, Departmental Store, Clothing Store, Motor Vehicle Branch etc.

The Highway Police  Headquarters locates at the Telecom Bhaban of the Rajarbagh Police Lines, Dhaka. Head of the Unit, DIG is assisted by an Additional DIG, one SP, one Addl. SP and one ASP/Sr.ASP (staff officer to DIG) along with some limited number of staff at the headquarters. Currently, a total number of 2192 (557+1485+150) employees comprised of police force and civil staff work against the Highway Headquarters, and four Regions have  recruited in three phase from 2009 to 2012. In 2013, a new proposal for the recruitment of additional 1813 employees has been sent to the Ministry of Public Administration where there will be 5 SPs, 12 Addl. SPs, 9 Sr. ASPs/ASPs, 11 Inspectors (UB), 7 Inspectors (AB), 10 Traffic Inspectors, 115 Sub- Inspectors (UB), 28 Sub- Inspectors (AB), 28 TSIs, 94 ASIs (UB), 56 ASIs (AB), 14 ATSIs, 28 Naiks, 1332 constables, 1 AO, 4 Head Assistants, 8 Stenographers, 9 Stenotypists, 24 LDA, 6 Accountants, and 12 Sweepers.

There are 28 highway police stations followed by 44 outposts. Inspector provides highway police service as In-charge in the arena of a Highway Police Station (thana) whereas Sergeant/Sub-Inspector works as the same in a comparatively small area, namely Highway outpost (Fari). At present, a total length of 11806 Square Kilometres highway across the populous country is being operated by the Highway Police with the inadequate manpower and limited resources. So far as highway police service is concerned, the Highway Police stations and outposts are highly pressurized with inadequate number of human resources. Keeping this in mind, to cope up with the required demand, a total of additional 28 Highway police stations have been proposed and are under process to  establish to minimize the existing distance of one highway police station to another and to increase more watching on the highway.

The incumbent government has taken a project of “Construction and Development of 50 Outposts for Highway Police at different places of the country” from January 2011 to December 2014, amounting Tk. 5204.30 lakh which has been revised to Tk. 5714.34 lakh. Till today, 3 Outposts namely Borodargah Highway Police Outpost, Rangpur, Zorargonj Highway Outpost, Chittagong, Dashmail Highway Outpost, Dinajpur have already been built.  Another 3 outposts namely Malumghat Highway Police Outpost, Coxs Bazar, Boda Highway Outpost, Panchgarh, Savar Highway Outpost, Dhaka and Noapara Highway Outpost, Jessore are almost completed. Besides, the construction of 18 Highway Outposts is going on smoothly. Furthermore, the establishment of Gournadi Highway outpost, Barisal, Kanchpur Crossing Highway Outpost, Narayangong and Bhairab Highway Outpost, Kishoregonj are under process with the request of tender by PWD. The Acquisition of land from Roads and Highways, Bangladesh Railway and private sources has been made for another 22 Highway Outposts.

A single highway police station is over burdened with on an average of 315 Square Kilometres highway to undertake service which creates an impediment in the way of curbing highway crimes. At present, a total of 284 vehicles including 5 Jeeps, 13 Cars, 82 Double Cabin Pick-ups, 2 Microbuses, 6 Wreckers and 176 motorcycles are deployed for Highway Police services. Besides, present scenario suggests that the number of vehicles has been increased and, to some extent, has been doubled in comparision to 2005, the year of establishing the Highway Police. But still there is a dearth of vehicles to cater to the highway need to provide better services. Besides, to accommodate the vehicle facilities for the proposed employees of Highway Police the unit has defined a total of 363 required vehicles including 17 Jeeps, 52 Pick-ups, 8 Cars, 8 Microbuses, 5 Ambulances, 238 Motor-bikes, 14 Wreckers, 7 Three/Five Trucks, 7 Buses/Mini- Buses, and 7 Water Trailers.

The learned DIG hopes that the Highway Police must strengthen its overall activities which will in turn ensure security of life and goods over the roads and highways effectively. In view of this, he also urges the oversight and cooperation of all to perform highway duties and provide people oriented services smoothly to implement the strategic plan and vision of Bangladesh Police.

Brief Profile of DIG Asaduzzaman

 

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Md. Asaduzzaman Mia was born in 1960 in a respected Muslim family at Faridpur district. His father is Late Mofazzel Hossain Mia and mother Komela Khatun. After completing Master of Science, he joined Bangladesh Police in the year 1988 as Assistant Superintendent of Police under the Bangladesh Public Service Commission (BPSC). His area of expertise includes criminal administration, investigation, staff development, resource mobilization, good governance, drug enforcement, and traffic management.

DIG Asaduzzaman’s professional career is variegated. He has worked at different capacities in Bangladesh Police with dedication, professionalism and integrity which are as follows:

ASP (Probationer), Bogra from 15/03/89 to11/04/90; ASP, 3 APBn, Mohalchari from 24/04/90 to 11/11/91; Sr. ASP, Joypurhat from 25/11/91 to 17/03/94; Additional SP, Sylhet from 27/03/94 to 13/09/96; Additional SP, Sunamgonj from 20/09/96 to 06/11/98; SP, Sunamgonj from 06/11/98 to 06/08/99; SP, Pabna  from 08/08/92 to 11/07/01; SP, Tangail from 11/07/01 to 15/08/01; SP, Railway District Chittagong from 16/08/01 to 04/11/02; SP, Railway District Saidpur from 12/11/02 to 16/03/05; Commandant from 1 APBn, Bogra from 21/03/05 to 19/04/06; Commandant, Addl. DIG, PTC Noakhali from 10/06/06 to 20/02/07; Addl. DIG, Khulna Range from 03/03/07 to 03/07/07; DIG (In-charge), Khulna Range from 04/07/07 to 20/03/09; DIG, Chittagong Range (Current charge) from 20/03/09 to 17/08/10; DIG, Chittagong Range from 18/08/10 to 18/10/10; DIG, Dhaka Range from  19/10/10 to 05/11/12; DIG, Highway Police from 05/11/12 to till date.

He is the recipient of PPM and has also achieved IGP’s good services award for providing outstanding services to the Bangladesh Police. He attended a foreign training titled “Crime Prevention Course for Senior Foreign Police Officers” from 12/01/09 to 31/01/09 in Japan. Besides, he received a good number of national training courses in the areas of investigation, land management, drug enforcement, ICT, cyber crime etc. In his personal life, DIG Asaduzzaman is married and is blessed with two sons and one daughter.