At least 36 policemen own either land or houses in Bogra town, though they come from other districts around the country.
According to police regulations, a police officer cannot own property outside of his home district without permission from the inspector general (IG) of police.
The 36 policemen, who have property in Bogra town, did not take permission from the IG, according to Prothom Alo investigations.
Some of these police officers come from Naogaon, some from Sirajganj, some from Joypurhat district and some from the southern district Bhola. Yet they all have houses or plots of land in Bogra town.
The 36 policemen worked in Bogra some time of their careers and that is when they purchased the houses and land.
They did not buy the property in their own names, but in the names of their wives, children or other family members.
The police officials amassed their wealth in Borga town, violating police regulations.
Local people said once police officials are posted here, they do not want to be transferred anywhere else. They resist transfer and move within the town from one police station to another.
The locals also said that during this time, the police officers linked up local drug dealers, extortionists and criminals, and thus made money overnight. They then brought property in the town. Inspector general AKM Shahidul Haque told Prothom Alo that no police official can buy land and houses in this manner. This is a violation of the police regulations, he added.
He also said anyone of the force violating the regulations will be punished.
According to Article 112 of the police act, “Police officers shall not be allowed to purchase any land or immovable assets in their names or in the names of their wives, sons, daughters, relatives or , domestic help, without permission from the IG.”
“Even if they have property anywhere other than their own districts, they will not be allowed to sell that either.”
Police officers have to submit a statement of their immovable property in March every year.
A police official, on condition of anonymity, said the system of taking permission from the police chief has been shattered.
There is no monitoring. Most of the police officials, at present, purchase property without permission from the chief, the source added.
Asked whether the Bogra police took permission from the police chief, the establishment wing of the police headquarters could not find any permission papers.
The wing’s additional deputy inspector general, Habibur Rahman, told Prothom Alo that no police official in the district sought permission to buy land, flats or any other immovable assets.
He also said, according to the police regulations, purchasing property without permission is a crime.
A visit to the area revealed a house, 'Khaniker Asray’ at Latifur Colony, just behind the Bogra Police Lines. This five-storey building is owned by a police officer.
A woman answered the doorbell of emerging from the well-decorated house. She said her husband assistant sub-inspector Saiful Islam was the owner.
One of her sons is a police constable and their family lives here.
Saiful, from Naogaon, is now stationed in Narayanganj district. He built the house when he was in Bogra.
Saiful said, “It is true that I constructed the house, but my wife owns the land.”
Gaibandha’s officer-in-charge (OC) Atiar Rahman from Joypurhat, bought land in Fulbari of Bogra town.
He bought the land when he was inspector at the Bogra Sadar and Shajahanpur police stations.
The OC said his father had purchased some 6 decimals of land. He has no land or house there.
Former OC Abdur Rashid, now at the RAB headquarters, built a house in Nurani intersection of Bogra town. He constructed the building when he was an OC at Gabtali Model and Shibganj police stations.
Abdur Rashid said, “I’m not the owner of the house. My wife built the house when I was transferred to Bogra.”
Hasan Shamim Iqbal served Bogra sadar and Nandigram police stations as officer-in-charge. He is now working as an assistant sub-inspector for Bogra CID. He bought two flats in Jaleshwaritola area in the town.
When asked about this, he said, “Not two. I have a flat. I purchased the flat for my daughter’s studies and wife’s illness.”
Former SI of Bogra sadar and Mokamtola police stations, Abdur Razzak, built a five-storey building named Shahab Villa in Zahurulnagar area.
He is now posted at the Naogaon police station.
Contacted over cell phone, Razzak said, “I bought a two and a half decimals of land and built a house with my life's savings.”
Gabtoli model police station OC Khairul Bashar was an SI for Bogra sadar police station. At that time he bought a house in Gandagram and a flat in Jaleshwaritola.
Khairul Bashar said, “It’s just a two-room tin shed owned by my wife. The Jaleshwaritola flat is not mine. It belongs to my father-in-law.”
Bogra CID inspector Abdul Mannan’s home district is Bhola. But he was OC for Bogra’s Detective Branch and Shahjahanpur police station for a long time. He has a six-storey building at Jailkhana Sarak and a piece of land at Malatinagar.
Asked about his property, Abdul Mannan said, “I didn’t build any house. I just bought five decimals of land.”
Inspector Sanwar Hossain of Naogaon’s Dhamairhaat police station used to work as the in-charge of Mokamtola Investigation Centre. He has two residential houses at Latifpur and land property at Phultola.
But, Sanwar Hossain told Prothom Alo, he is landless.
“I have been living in the Latifpur house for 12 years as a tenant and my mother-in-law built a house at Phultola,” he said.
Former OC of Nandigram police station, Fasir Uddin, bought a flat at Amicus House of Rahmannagar area.
When asked, Fasir Uddin claimed that the flat belongs to his mother-in-law.
“My mother-in-law cannot live alone. So she bought the flat to stay with me,” he said.
Bogra district unit Jamaat-e-Islami leader Yeasin Ali was arrested on charges of bribing former Shahjahanpur police station OC, Mahmudul Alam, with five decimals of land, so as not to take action against him in several criminal cases.
Mahmudul Alam was transferred to Barisal range as punishment.
Bogra sadar police station inspector (investigation) Aslam Ali’s home district is Naogaon. He recently bought a five-decimal plot of land at Latifpur.
Aslam Ali said he did not know that permission was required to purchase land.
According to concerned officials, police get a share of extortion money collected from the transport sector in Bogra. They also collecting toll from drug dealers, illegal gambling, battery-run rickshaws, and more.
Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) trustee board member, M Hafizuddin Khan, told Prothom Alo, “There are law, but no implementation of the laws. No one really cares about the laws. Those who are supposed to enforce the law, are doing all this.”
According to former inspector general of police Nurul Huda, the lower level of any force is influenced bu the corrupt upper level.
Submitting property report is mandatory for police. It is a crime if anyone avoids this. Everything will fall apart this regulation is violated.
*The article, originally published in Prothom Alo Bangla print edition, has been rewritten in English by Imam Hossain and Toriqul Islam.