The Dhaka Railway Police Station is like many others, except it also has a library

Some verses of inspirational poetry are inscribed on the wall. Next to those verses is a shelf harbouring about 50 books. Everything is clean and tidy. It's certainly not what one expects in the detention cells of a police station.

Meherun Naher
Published : 28 Nov 2021, 05:19 PM
Updated : 28 Nov 2021, 05:43 PM

But these peculiarities make Dhaka Railway Police Station in Kamalapur stand apart from others in the capital.

A better environment will invoke the humanity and morality of criminals and lead them away from a life of crime, believes SP Saifullah Al Mamun, who oversees the station. Grounded in these ideals, he has set out to infuse a human touch into the station.

Mamun initiated the refurbishment of the police station in mid-2021, according to Md Mazharul Islam, chief of Dhaka Railway Police Station.

He, too, shares Mamun's altruistic vision of rehabilitating and reintegrating criminals into society as a means of preventing crimes.

“We don’t think of those who come here as simply criminals, but also as human beings. A human being is the greatest creation,” said Mazharul.

“We try to value them accordingly. Such a pleasant and accepting environment will invoke positive thoughts in a criminal. He will stop committing crimes upon thinking that, even after he has committed a crime, he still gets the chance to experience a good environment,” he explained.

On a visit to the police station on Saturday, this reporter found the bookshelves lined with a number of volumes, including 'Oshomapto Atmajiboni' and 'Karagarer Rojnamcha' by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Manik Bandapadhaya’s 'Putul Nacher Itikotha' and some books with religious and moral teachings.

As of now, the library has around 50 books and Mazharul says they have plans to expand it.

Suspects of major crimes are not kept in the lock-up, said the police officer when asked. “Criminals who commit petty crimes in the railway are kept here and only for a day or so.”

Three suspects were seen chatting inside the lock-up.

“One of them, Abul Hossain, pretended to be a deputy inspector of police and collected information from the passengers on a train about the valuables they were carrying. Later, two of his accomplices disguised as hawkers sold snack items spiked with intoxicating elements to the passengers and robbed them when they lost consciousness,” said Nurul Amin, a clerk.

Abul Hossain, an inmate, said he has been in the lock-up for a day and has spent some time reading. “I read some parts of Osomapto Atmojiboni. The lock-up is very clean and the environment is nice,” he said.

Chief Mazharul said the station has yet to be formally inaugurated following its modernisation. “We are carrying out refurbishments quite frequently,” he said.

The Dhaka Railway Police Station lock-up can hold five occupants but the number can be further increased in the future, he said.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher