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Journal Of A Bangladeshi Cop (Part-2)

Dear Readers,

Welcome back to my journal! As I am the first professional cop from NSU, I face one question very frequently: Why Police???

Well, to be very honest, I am a cop not by choice but by chance! Police was my second choice both the times I took the BCS exam. I thought I would not like the life I have to live-but surprisingly, I am loving it!!!! Apart from the obvious textbook ones (Power,Uniform,Gun etc), there is another reason why I am finding Policing so much fun. It’s the variation in the job. When you are a Cop, two consecutive workdays won’t be same for you, it’s always different.

Throughout ages Policing has inspired movies….Hollywood, Bollywood, Tollywood, Dhaliwood-you name it! “থামুন, আইন নিজের হাতে তুলে নেবেন না” (Stop! Don’t take law into your own hands), “চৌধুরী সাহেব, আমি একজন গরীব কিন্তু সৎ পুলিশ অফিসার”(Mr.Chowdhury,I am a poor but honest police officer)- these are classical Bangla movie Police dialogues that we all enjoyed since we were kids.

Inspector Chulbul Pandey!

Inspector Chulbul Pandey!

Most recent trend(and most popular too) in Bollywood is Item songs surrounded by Cops. Let’s look at some popular item songs: “Bidi jalaire, jigar se piyaa”- Bipasha Basu dances where cops surround the area to catch criminals. “Dum maro Dum”-Deepika Padukone sizzles the stage, followed by police action. And who can forget the Dabangg Song “Munni Badnaam Huyee” where Inspector Chulbul Pandey (a.k.a Sallu Bhai) comes to rock with Malaika Arora!

 

 

 

An actor from the Jatra "স্বামীর চিতা জ্বলছে"

An actor from the Jatra “স্বামীর চিতা জ্বলছে”

The reason behind me bringing this up is- these cop-surrounding-item-song scenarios are kind of real life. And I just experienced one last night during my night  patrol. “Jatra” is a popular form of entertainment here (also in most of the remote village areas in Bangladesh). Whenever there will be Jatra, there will be female artists, lot of people, and of course, there will be cops. Cops will be there to ensure that there is no vulgarity in the show which is against our social norms. We also ensure that no unlawful works like gambling, drinking take place.

 

 

 

When we arrived, the lyrics of the song played inside was: “নেশা নেশা লেগেছে প্রেমের নেশা,তাই মজনু আজ লায়লাকে দেবে শশা” (Today there is addiction of love,so Majnu will give Laila a Cucumber). I did not get inside the Jatra pandle then, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that they were having the desi version of “Munni badnaam huyee” inside. Right after we arrieved and they heard the Police Siren, the song turned into “একতারা তুই দেশের কথা বল রে এবার বল,আমাকে তুই বাউল করে সঙ্গে নিয়ে চল”! Quite an improvement with the police presence, ehh? hahaha…

Devotees of Pir Ekdil Shah

Devotees of Pir Ekdil Shah

Dargah of Pir Ekdil Shah

Dargah of Pir Ekdil Shah

Speaking of Bauls, I also attended a “Sadhu” or “Baul” conference in Taalsari area under my jurisdiction during the night patrol. This conference is done every year in the name of Pir Ekdil Shah, who came here 200 years ago to preach Sufism. I am adding some pictures here.

 

A glimps of what we cops see everyday...

A glimpse of what we cops see everyday…

Lastly, let me tell you about some of the harsh sides of our job. Today, while I was watching Honorable PM’s speech on Police Week,suddenly there was an information about a bus-train accident in Loknathpur Rail Crossing. OC of the Police station instantly rushed to the spot.He came back with two dead bodies and their belongings.I was watching with emotionless eyes how the dead bodies were pulled down from the police car,the very car that I use for patrolling.

 

Loknathpur Rail Crossing..where the Accident took place..

Loknathpur Rail Crossing..where the Accident took place..

We call ourselves civilized, but bitter experience teaches me that we are not. Police had to rush to the spot not only to save the wounded but also to ensure that some local people can not  loot the bus. My men immediately surrounded the place of occurrence, ensured that the law-and-order situation is under control, took the dead bodies into police station till they are identified, washed the blood, initiated the legal procedure against the guilty, found out the relatives of the dead and looked into the safe passage of further bus and train communication.

 

I don’t know how I am writing this so easily while the sound of painful tears from the relatives of the dead is still ringing in my head. Police training, I guess! But trust me, the job we do is not as easy as it might sound.

Call us names because there are corrupt people among us, crucify us because we have the tradition of  suppressing people for last 200 years. Believe it without a bit of hesitation whenever you see any negative news about the police. But,sometimes, if possible, think of the cruel job nature we have. Among the ocean of hatred towards us, save a drop of sympathy too. Can you do it? No? Okay.

First published: 15 February 2012

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