October 4, 2010
The industrial police, a specialised unit of law enforcers, formally started its journey yesterday, aiming to maintain order in the country’s four industrial zones.
Initially, 1,580 personnel deputed from the police department will make up the force. They will later be joined by 1,410 more cops to patrol Dhaka, Gazipur, Narayanganj and Chittagong industrial hubs.
A 10-day training programme for the new unit began at Police Staff College in the capital’s Mirpur yesterday morning.
Inaugurating the programme, Home Minister Sahara Khatun said the government has formed the force to ensure no outsiders can incite violence or create anarchy in the industrial sector.
Salim Osman, president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufactures & Exporters Association, told The Daily Star they hope the industrial police will help tackle labour unrest.
For regular police, it takes much time to reach the spot, and often the situation spirals out of control before they arrive. Fending off violence in industrial areas will be easier now with the industrial police readily available, he observed.
Twenty-six officials including additional superintendents of police, assistant superintendents of police and inspectors are participating in the training.
After completing the course, they will return to their units and start training the subordinates.
Speakers at the inaugural training session said the new force will be taught industrial and labour laws, and lessons in the role of industrialists, workers and collective bargaining agents.
Shamsul Hoque Tuku, state minister for home, said, “We have seen how the jute industry had died out because of frequent unrest. Now a quarter is plotting to destroy the garment industry.”
He added that the industrial police will exercise utmost restraint in dealing with labour protests.
Naim Ahmed, Rector of Police Staff College, said, “The industrial police will be trained to resolve disputes between owners and workers through arbitrations.”
They will also gather information from the factories and identify the causes of possible unrest, he added.
Among others, Inspector General of Police Hassan Mahmood Khandker was present at the inaugural ceremony.