Bangladesh Police Academy: The crowning glory of 100 years
The venerable Bangladesh Police Academy (BPA), the then Police Training College, made its maiden journey in 1912 with an objective to deliver basic training to the police officers and personnel of the then Province of Bengal and Assam. The hundred year old luminous and prestigious Alma Mater is one of the oldest training institutions in the Indian sub-continent. An intricate revelation of the Police Academy invariably suggests beginning with its roots and history. The past chronicles of the academy are linked and inter-connected with the legend, history of India, history of British colonial period, and the history of Bangladesh Police have reached at the present stage through a process of evolution.
Herodotus, the father of history, published the results of his inquiries hoping to preserve the memory of the past by putting on record certain astonishing achievements of people and was interested in events that were in living memory and could be verified. At the juncture of decayed Moghal Rule, the East India Company unlike Dutch, French, and Portuguese involved into the politics of Bengal in addition to their usual merchandise engagement. They defeated Nawab Serajuddoula, with help of most ever hated traitor Mir Zafar Ali Khan and his gang of conspirators Yaar Latif, Raidurlava, Jagatseth, Urmi Chand, and Ghosethi Begum all of them had their common goal to unseat Seraj from the throne, in the eventual Battle of Palassey on 23 June 1757. In the aftermath of defeated battle, a bizarre Dual Administration was introduced in Bengal where the company kept lucrative revenue administration in their hands but the critical criminal and general administration went to the hands of puppet Nawab Mir Zafar Ali Khan. Subsequently the company defeated Mir Quasim, immediate successor of Mir Zafar to the throne, in the battle of Buxer in 1764 led them to avail the opportunity of granting the Dewani of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa from the Mughal Emperor in 1765 thus they became the de facto ruler of Bengal. Just after 100 years of Battle of Palassey, the first independent war of India (others differently call the Sepoy Rebellion ) broke out in 1857 changed the political scenario in the sub-continent by taking over full control of the Indian Territory by British Government from the East India Company. British Government desired to reform the police in the sub-continent in line with the British Constabularies. In the year 1860 the Government of India appointed a commission headed by HM Court to enquire into the whole question of police administration in British India to recommend measures for the ‘creation of a perfect and economical police.’ The commission’s recommendations resulted in the enactment of Act 5 of 1861 (The Police Act of 1861). The Act consolidated the police functions over the whole sub-continent lest the Bengal alone. The Act regulates the organization, recruitment and discipline of the Indian Police. It is still well in force in Bangladesh even after 151 years.
The need for professional education and formal training to police personnel was felt in Bengal in 1893. An experimental course of instruction limited to a period of two months was tried in Dhaka. The results being satisfactory, a scheme was approved by the government to set up a police training school at Bhagalpur. To meet the recommendation of the Indian Police Commission of 1902-03 for the establishment of provincial schools, the school at Mill Barracks, Dhaka was transformed into a Provincial Institution in 1906 and it functioned as such till 1913. The Partition of Bengal was announced in July 1905 by the Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon. Indians were outraged at what they recognised as a “divide and rule” policy, where Curzon stressed it would produce administrative efficiency. The Bengal was departitioned in 1911 and what is now Bangladesh and Indian province of Pachchimbanga were combined again as one province. On the annulment of the short-lived partition of Bengal, the existing Police Training College for Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and Assam at Bhagalpur (India) went to the province of re-organised Bihar and Orissa which was reconstituted with parts of the then Bengal. Such a situation demanded the immediate necessity for a Police Training College for the Province of Bengal and Assam. The Training Institution in Dhaka had limitations of adequate space & accommodation, proper climate and also of non-availability of visiting officers from the capital city Kolkata. As such, the respective government functionaries went to a planning of setting up a Police Training College at a better site conducive to training and with a bigger area. As a result the Police Training College was established in July, 1912 at its present site at Sardah bought by the Government from the Midnapur Zamindary Estate. Major H. Chamney was made its founder Principal.
Bangladesh Police Academy , Sardah, Rajshahi is also widely referred to by the metonym Sardah as like as the Scotland Yard is a metonym for the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) of the British capital, London or just as Wall Street gave its name to the New York financial world. As such, with the passage of time Sardah becomes the brand name of Bangladesh Police Academy.
Many European traders were attracted to the town Rajshahi and its surroundings because of its being a centre of silk production and its river route location by the side of the river Padma. Subsequently the Dutch, the French and the English East India Company established factories and business in phases in the areas around. Sardah is a small and ancient village under Charghat Police Station in Rajshahi district. The village is situated on the eastern bank of the vast river Padma, on the other side of the bank is the historical district Murshidabad of India. The distance between Sardah and Rajshahi by road is around 30 kilometers through Baneswar. Sardah bears the testimony of and has witnessed quietly the rise and fall of many nations and rulers like the Mughals, the Dutch, the English and the Pakistanis. The riverside village has been the hub of many political powers for more than 300 years. Legend goes that the present parade ground was the camping ground of Mughal soldiers. That this wide field once used to provide encampment to the soldiers of Nawab Alivardi Khan, who came once a year for exercises and collection of revenue from different areas of Rajshahi.
When we study history we find there is history behind the history. To narrate the saga of Sardah, there are many stories and legends run about the origin of the name of Sardah. One view is that the place was once the headquarters of 152 ‘Nilkuthis’ (the Indigo Planters’ Centre) of the district of Rajshahi and as such this was called ‘Sadar’ of Indigo planters. The forceful plantation of indigo made by the Europeans with their local associates to the unwilling poor farmers of the region bears an unforgettable painful history of Bengal. The word Sardah is a distorted form of the word Sadar. Another view is that during the day of Nawab Murshid Kuli Khan and Alivardi Khan a contingent of cavalry of the Nawab’s army used to camp here to save the people from the attacks of the ‘Maratha bandits (Bargis)’. That is why the place was called ‘Sardaha’ in Persian meaning ‘greatest village’. Another version is – the area was full of dense jungles infested with ferocious animals like tigers and leopards constantly harassing the people of neighbourhood. In a bid to give relief to local people the district authority employed Shikaries (hunters) for killing those tigers and other ferocious animals. Many former British Principals and the probationary Assistant Superintendents of the Academy used to take those hunters with them while they proceeded for tiger & leopard hunting and pig-sticking to the adjoining jungles. They went out in many occasions for leopard shooting with an aboriginal tribe who lived nearby the college. The tribe did not appear Aryan facially but more like Australian aborigines, very black and cheerful by nature. But there is no known history of their fate and whereabouts now or history of their extinction or otherwise disappearance. In the twenties of the 20th century it was seen in many occasions the Principal, and the British and the native police officers of Indian Police Service (IPS) along with the local and nearby landlords the Midnapur Zamindary Company’s apex executives went out for such hunting. The company’s such executives of good fun used to come to play polo in the rains and stay the night in the officers’ mess or with the Principal if they were more senior. It reflected the very relationship between the Indian aristocrats and the Englishmen. The place was called ‘Sher-Dah’ meaning the village of tigers. Sardah is its distorted version. Yet another view is that the place was a big ditch in the river bed of Padma which used to be called ‘Dah” by the locals. During the Mughal period a sandy island was formed and gradually turned into a big open field which was used by the soldiers of the Nawab for encampment. They used to call the place ‘Serdah’ meaning the ‘big ditch’. Though these are the legends but of having historical values as these legends were handed down for generations.
The 142.66 acres of land of the Academy are crowned with the grandeur of marvelous natural beauty. The surroundings are picturesque, the mighty river Padma presenting a superb view. Overlooking the river Padma and situated amidst sylvan setting with the lush green sprawling parade ground fringed with gigantic rain trees, deodars, Himalayan cedars, teak, banyan, mango and mahogany trees; warbling of birds from trees; unrestricted movements of some innocent and shy animals all would enchant anybody anytime. There are a huge maidan, a big open grassy space, with the Principal’s bungalow on the river bank, and the Officers’ Mess also overlooking the lovely green expanse. It is an embodiment of everlasting youthfulness. Time has not withered away its pristine beauty. The shadowy canopy of giant rain trees and mango grove, the woodland stillness broken at intervals by the shrill sound of bugles and the sylvan wilderness of Sardah, and above all the peace and tranquility of the panoramic view have made it an abode of peace—and in the words of a distinguished visitor—“a paradise where angels are trained to keep out the devils”. The remark of one of the commissioner of police, Kolkata, in 1915, when he finished his course was, ‘An earthly paradise.’ When he re-visited Sardah, he wrote, ‘Paradise re-gained.’ On leaving Sardah in August, 1919, Principal Chamney who served there till 1919 wrote:
Others I doubt not, if not me
The issue of our toil shall see.
My time has come,
‘Tis best to draw the veil
Over deeds and days gone by.
Regrets are vain
‘Tis best to make an end
And take it up beneath another sky.’
Sardah is the oldest training institution of the country with its rich heritage and splendour history. Major H. Chamney of the British Indian Army was the first principal of the academy. Legend goes that while he was travelling to Kolkata by steamer stopped at Charghat which was a steamer station then and was attracted by the fascinating beauty and excellent geo-natural location of the campus at Sardah with its large open field and massive ancient buildings left abandoned by the Dutch and the English East India Company. The Dutch and the English settled themselves in the Rajshahi region, belonged to the silk factories and indigo factories of Indigo planters. The site at Sardah with existing buildings, and other disappeared and aged ruined buildings was once called headquarters of 152 Nilkutis of the region. The buildings and structures were originally constructed by the Dutch East India Company during the Mughal period in middle of eighteenth century for indigo factories. In the ultimate power politics when the Dutch was pushed out by the French from commerce and trade in India, out of spite they sold this property to the British East India Company after the Battle of Palassey (1757). The property was later bought by M/S Robert Watson & Company in 1835. Later the Midnapur Zamindary Estate (landlord of Midnapur) purchased the property from them. The British Government purchased the entire property at a cost of Rupees 25,000 only in 1912 and thereafter established Police Training College in the same year. There were six buildings each measuring 300′x45′ and one was bigger, once were used for the manufacturing of silk and producing indigo, then were used for academy’s constables’ barracks, offices, stores and class rooms. The Barakuthi (big bungalow), a spacious Greek-Roman architectural featured old building, survived the great earthquake of 1897 and was presumably the residence of the company’s chief executive, is now serving as the officers’ mess. The Chotokuthi (little smaller than Barakuthi), with same architectural feature, is the present bungalow of the principal was originally constructed for the manager of the company. The buildings which were added after 1912, according to the requirements of the college, include residential quarters, hospital building, dormitory for the trainees, a model police station, a recreation room and so on. For the supply of drinking water a 4 inch diameter deep tube well was sunk in the year 1925 and for supply of running water a diesel engine water pump was set up in1932. To meet the increased demand of water with the increase of trainees and staff a 250 feet deep Electric Turbine tube-well was sunk and a 60 feet high water tank having the capacity of 50,000 gallons was constructed. The construction work of sanitary latrines and a modern sludge plant was completed in 1969. Before 1948 the campus used to be illuminated with gas light. In 1948 the college installed its own electric generator for the supply of electricity that continued upto 1962 when the responsibility of supplying electricity was taken up by the Power Development Board.
The old buildings and structures bear amazing varieties of architectural features. Two bungalows the Barakuthi and the Chotokuthi, built by the Dutch, depicts the Ionic (a style of architecture in ancient Greece) and the Roman architectural features: splendid pillars with base, shaft and pediment, iron beam for load bearing, significant height of plinth level from the ground, beam and sub-beam on the roof, decoration in the walls and with wide verandas in the front and the back side of the house. These two bungalows are the unique and exceptional piece of architecture where the architect reflected his own style but mostly influenced by the Greek and Roman architectonic. The British, who came later to the Dutch, constructed several distinct structures and buildings like Hospital Building, Guest House, Vice Principal’s Bungalow and Staff Quarters are all of having typical Victorian Architectural features of exposed bricks with red oxide coating, plaster part with white ornamentation border, and also with impressive arches. All those historical buildings are of great historical interest to the visitors. The process of continuous repair, renovation, and maintenance of these heritage buildings could protect those from ruins and extinction. Imperative is to take all care and caution that the renovations should not kill the original features, archeological value and the beauty of the buildings. The buildings which were built during Pakistan period and the other buildings constructed in Bangladesh period are having different facets from architectural and aesthetic view. The present constructions of buildings and structures are going along with the line of evolutionary process with futuristic architecture and design for fulfilling the present and future needs.
In Charter Act of 1833, the British parliament revoked the Company’s trade license altogether, making the Company a part of British governance, although the administration of British India remained under the province of Company officers. When the Company gave up private trade in 1835, the premises at Sardah were taken over by M/S Robert Watson and Company. With the discovery of synthetic indigo and artificial dye in Germany in 1909, the indigo industry also completely collapsed in Bengal. Resulted, the property was passed into the hands of the Midnapur Zamindari Estate. But the Midnapur Zamindari Eatate had practically no use for such a big campus except using it as a Kutchary for collecting rent. It was at this critical point of the property that the Service Steamer of Major Chamney touched the Charghat Steamer Station and Chamney thought this place suitable for establishment of a Police Training College. One may be interested to have an answer of the question why Chamney selected the site at Sardah, far away from big cities like Kolkata and Dhaka, for establishing Police Training College. The probable factors might work behind the selection are; a). readily available buildings, structures and a big ground for drill, b). remoteness and away from the cities and towns are suitable for ideal police training, c). river communication factor that there was a regular ply of steamers to and from Charghat along the river Padma to different destinations, and finally d). Chamney was personally fascinated with spectacular natural beauty of the sites and surroundings. Chamney immediately reported the matter to the British Government and his proposal was accepted. The entire property, comprising an area of 142.66 acres of land with all its installations, was then purchased by the Government from the Midnapur Zamindari Eatate in 1912 at an amount of Rupees 25,000. It was thus destined to become the site for the Police Training College, the present Bangladesh Police Academy.
It was the captivating wealth that brought Europeans to India, though far away from their country with difference in culture, language and climate. With secure incomes, they took to lives of ease and luxury, commensurate with the lifestyle of the native aristocracy and of oriental splendour. They employed armies of servants for the comfort of their households and to establish their prestige and status in the society.
In the beginning of the 20th century, to get entry into the remunerative Indian Police Service an Englishman or an Indian expectant had to try his fortune with the Civil Service Examiners in their competitive examinations. He also had to pass in the riding exam. Selected persons were set for the Indian Police in the Service of the Secretary of State for India. The service conditions were very attractive, in the year 1925 the remuneration was with the princely amount of Rupees 450 per month while on probation. In the beginning, the examinations were held only in the United Kingdom but later the government introduced simultaneous examinations in India too in the face of the demand of the Indian politicians that paved the way to ease the entry of native candidates in Civil Service. Selected men after qualifying in Civil Service Examination had to undergo basic training in the Police Training College located at Sardah of Rajshahi district in the province of Bengal.
From the very start of its journey, the Training College was for all ranks of the Police, from constables to Sub-Inspectors, and the Assistant Superintendents. In 1912-13 the first batch of trainees consisted of 103 recruit constables, 25 Cadet Sub-Inspectors and 7 Asst. Superintendents thus the total number of trainees were 135. After its opening, it took only few years for Sardah to gain its momentum and had always been engaged with a large number of trainees, for instance in the year 1925 the number of trainees of all ranks rose to about 1,000. There was separate training syllabus for trainee Constables, Sub-Inspectors and ASsP but on the ground Physical Training and Drill were almost common for everybody. Sub-Inspectors were taught law and other subjects related to law. Probationary Asst. Superintendents were taught law, general administration and accounts. The British officers were taught Bengali thoroughly because this was the principal language they would have to work with. All ASsP had to undergo survey and settlement training being staying in the settlement camp making journey from the training college; in about 1925 land settlement in Bengal was completed, the whole of Bengal was mapped out yard by yard, with the owners of all land noted down and full particulars of each plot. Equitation was and is still compulsory for Probationary Asst. Superintendents and Sub-Inspectors. Horse riding is a memorable experience for all trainees with adventure, thrill and fright. In early days, the vast green grassy space of the academy was very popular for polo to the senior officers of the academy and officers and guests who used to visit here.
In the beginning the academy imparted training to the police officers of Imperial Police Service (IPS) of the rank of ASP both of British and Indian origin and police personnel of the rank of Sub-Inspector and Constable of Bengal and Assam. As the policy of British Raj, though the policy did not sustain for longer, to rule the whole British India solely only with a few number of British officers in the key positions of civil administration, no Indian police officers were recruited in Imperial Police Service (IPS) until 1921. The first Indian officer entered into IPS in 1921 was Mr. E.S.C Sen. The first Muslim IPS was Mr. Zakir Hussain, in 1924, who later became Inspector-General of Police and Governor of then East Pakistan and a central Minister of then Pakistan. Until the beginning of 1947, the year Indian Sub-Continent got independence, all the principals of the Police Training College were British officers. The last British Principal in the colonial rule was Mr. T.G. Holman who was replaced by Mr. P.L. Mehta in April 1947. After the end of British colonial rule in August 1947 Mr. M.A. Khan became the first principal of the Training College. In the independent Bangladesh in 1972 Mr. A.B.M.G. Kibria was appointed as the first Principal. The institution has been delivering sustained and un-interrupted basic training to the rank and file, and officers of Imperial Police Service, Pakistan Police Service and Bangladesh Police Service standing out in the chronological regimes of British India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Sardah is the home of police. An officer after completion of training leaves the academy but leaves with unforgettable memories and with a sense of nostalgia.
After the end of British colonial rule in India in 1947, Sardah became the only central training institution for the training of PSP (Police Service of Pakistan) officers of both wings of Pakistan. After the independence of Bangladesh, the College appeared as the sole police training institution to impart basic training to the officers and personnel of all ranks – ASP probationers, Sub-Inspectors, Sergeants and Constables and the academy doing the same till now. With the increased training activities and added responsibility the Police Training College was raised to the status of a national academy named as Police Academy, Sardah in 1964. In the year 2007 Police Academy is renamed as Bangladesh Police Academy. In a gazette of Ministry of Home Affairs, amending the Police Regulations Bengal, 1943, published on 17 January 2012 the name of Bangladesh Police Academy appeared as Bangladesh Police Academy, Sardah.
In the year 1962 the academy celebrated the Golden Jubilee (1912 – 1962), after completion of its 50 years of steady journey, with four days (21 – 24 December) of colourful programmes. The President of Pakistan Field Marshal Muhammad Ayub Khan was the chief guest of the occasion. The President arrived at Sardah on the 20th December was received by the Inspector- General of Police, Mr. A.M.A Kabir and by the Principal of the college, Mr. K.N. Hussain. The President left the college on 22nd December. The Principal’s bungalow was turned into the President’s house which was repaired, redecorated and renovated under the supervision of Mrs. K.N. Hussain before the arrival of the President. She also supervised the gardens, the accommodation and catering of the guests. Among numerous guests were many central and provincial ministers, VIPs and foreign dignitaries came for the occasion. The entry of the President into the College was heralded by a fanfare of trumpets and the canons fired a 21-gun salute. The entire compound was gorgeously illuminated, made the whole place looked like a veritable fairyland. The celebrations started on 21st December with the Golden Jubilee Ceremonial Parade with about 10,000 spectators; the chief guest reviewed the parade and gave the awards to the recipients. The band party putting on uniforms based on the Scottish Regimental Band looked excellent in their starched pugrees with goldkullas and gold batons. Among varieties of events and programmes were the Golden Jubilee Banquet, the Golden Jubilee Meet for all retired and serving police officers, Tattoo, the Shama Parade, PT display, Phantom Ride, Fishermen’s Dance, Gymnastics Display, Mass Drill, Fire Jumps of the horses, Polo Match, etc. It was only two months preparation time for 2000 police-men who performed in the various items; but hours of practice, rehearsal and devotion brought it to such perfection. The celebration ended on 24th December.
Bangladesh Police Academy has a historic heroic role in the liberation war of Bangladesh. The infamous and cruel Pakistani occupational army invaded Sardah on 13 April, 1971. The Pakistani Army viciously killed thousands of innocent villagers nearby. Under the leadership of the then principal of the academy Mr. M.A. Khaleque all the police personnel and civil staff made a resistance and fought boldly against the attackers on the call of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. As many as 24 police personnel and civil staff of the academy sacrificed their lives in the battle of liberation. The name and designation of the martyrs are printed on the plaque of the martyrs’ monument which is located to the opposite of the guest house. The principal along with some other police personnel, at a certain point, tactically retreated by crossing Padma and joined the liberation war to get Bangladesh free from the occupation. Pakistani troops set up their camps in the academy and continued until the end of their defeat.
Bangladesh Police Academy celebrated its Diamond Jubilee (1912–1987) in the year 1989 with release of a commemorative Postage Stamp by former President H.M. Ershad and with other different programmes.
In its early stage, training activities were limited to Physical Training (PT), Drill, and Law but later in the 1960s general subjects were included in the training programme. At present BPA is imparting three categories of training courses – Basic Courses, In-Service Training, and Specialized Courses. Basic courses are delivered to ASsP (Probationer), Outside Cadet Sub-Inspectors, Sergeants, and Trainee Recruit Constables. In-service courses are offered to Armed Sub-Inspectors, Asst. Sub-Inspectors, and Head Constables and to others. Specialized courses include Riders, Drummers, Pipers, Buglers, Section Leaders’ course, and Training of Trainers (TOT). BPA is also conducting courses for personnel of other government organizations like National Security Intelligence (NSI), Forest Department and Railway Department. The academy introduced Master in Police Science (MPS) programme being affiliated with University of Rajshahi since the academic year 2008-2009. In its recent development BPA has made partnership and engagement with foreign and international organizations like ICITAP (International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Programme –a project of US Justice Department), Asia Foundation, ICRC, and PRP (Police Reform Programme) to deliver international standard training courses to the ASP (Probationers) and Cadet Sub-Inspectors who are undergoing basic training in the academy. Having an Additional IGP on the top along with 1 DIG, 2 Addl. DIGs, 5 Superintendents, and other officers and personnel the total number of sanctioned manpower of BPA are now 568.
The slogan of BPA is ‘First Rate Training, Excellent Service’; the vision is ‘to develop human resources with sound capability and integrity’; the mission is ‘to introduce practicing discipline and develop sound physical and mental capacity’, and the goal is to ‘enhance professionalism in policing through need based training.’ There is noticeable change in training programme in different countries of the world emphasizing on change of attitude. Ruling and authoritative attitude of police personnel cannot make any impact on ‘Legal Service Delivery’ to the people. The academy is in endeavour in its training programme to bring about appropriate change in attitude in members of the police to deliver expected service to the people.
Sardah is a place of notable green expanse. A great variety of plants exists on earth which is essential for the well being and survival of mankind. Sardah is profoundly proud of various kinds of plants broadly categorized by fruit trees, wood trees, medicinal trees, ornamental trees, flower trees and wild trees. In its treasure of trees there are 27 kinds of fruit trees such as mango, tropical almond, custard apple, monkey jack, sugar apple, black plum, olive tree, pomelo, and many others; 22 kinds of wood trees such as mast tree, devil’s tree, Indian oak, rain tree, babul tree, teak, mahogany, silk tree, Indian rose chestnut, velvet apple, and many others; and 12 kinds of medicinal trees such as asoka, arjun, tulsi, devil’s cotton, amla, yellow myrobalan, avocado, and many others. Old and new trees are being cherished and nourished with right and proper care for their survival. Some of the old trees are believed to be over 200 years. Plantation of new trees is a continuous process to replace the dead ones and to create potential new ones. For proper treatment of diseased trees and proper nourishment of other existing trees, the academy has made an engagement with Department of Botany, Rajshahi University in the year 2012. Two of the expert and experienced professors and one technical officer are already engaged in the business whose guidance and advice are being followed to achieve our tree conservation mission. Further development what has been made in this respect is the creation of a Conservation of Wild Trees corner along the river bank road in south-western part of the academy premises with an objective of preserving, displaying and preventing extinction of wild trees.
The academy is greatly rich with special and rare varieties of flowers. Some flower trees are comparatively very old but surviving magnificently well amidst appropriate care. Gardeners of the academy with proper guidance and direction of the respective officers are taking care of the existing flower trees, planting seasonal flowers commensurate with seasons, and planting new trees in an organized and orderly fashion. There are 52 varieties of flower trees like flame tree, hoimonti, temple tree, golden trumpe, Burmese cassia, lucky nut , flame lily, Indian glory bower, cosmetic bark, butter tree, Chinese wedelia, beauty of the night, and many others. Moreover, there are 22 varieties of ornamental plants like canna lily, yellow areca palm, royal palm, jungle flame, henna, weeping fig, garden croton, lady slipper, false-bird-of-paradise, auri and many others are available in the academy.
Wildlife conservation is the practice of protecting endangered plant and animal species and their habitats. Bangladesh Police Academy is enriched with a variety of wild animals though they are on the brink of gradual extinction. Nonetheless, it is still a safe haven for them but development of infrastructure and erection of necessary buildings, and other civil structures is a matter of grave concern for their existence and effective survival, and also to prevent their extinction. A survey has been conducted, in the period December 2007 – March 2008, by Dr. M. Farid Ahsan, Professor, Department of Zoology, Chittagong University and his associate M. Tarik Kabir to examine and to list the varieties of animals and birds that are available in the academy. They successfully listed the existence of 28 kinds of wild animals in the campus in the broad categories of Mammals, Amphibians and Reptiles. Five-striped palm squirrel, field mouse, false vampire, mongoose, Indian civet, jackal, skipper frog, Indian bullfrog, Ganges soft-shell turtle, different variety of lizards, Bengal monitor, flying fox, jungle cat and cobra are some of the wild animals among many others. Wild life sanctuary is a must for conservation and preservation of wild animals. To that end a small sanctuary for the wild animals is created at the extreme north-west corner of the campus considering that the corner would not hinder the development and the erection of essential capacity building infrastructures.
In the same survey to list the varieties of animals, mentioned in the earlier paragraph by Prof. Farid and his colleague Mr Tarik revealed that an immense variety of birds exist in the compound. Truly, the academy compound is a safe place for the birds as they are undisturbed, supplied with plenty of food from the existing huge number of fruit trees and a big area with peaceful environment to live in. The survey discloses that the academy is the dwelling of more than 70 varieties of birds such as greater flameback, lineated barbet, common hoopoe, kingfisher, Indian cuckoo, rose-ringed parakeet, house swift, spotted dove, sandpiper, black kite, cattle egret, long-tailed shrike, black drongo, oriental magpie robin, chestnut-tailed starling, great tit, common myna, barn swallow, common tailor bird, sun bird, wagtail, small minivet, jungle babbler, Indian roller and many others.
With a mission to green and clean the premises, the academy has successfully launched a project named “Green Sardah and Clean Sardah” in January 2012 where programmes of planned plantation, covering all open and exposed soils with grass, and introduction of appropriate litter disposal system have taken place. It is an apparent bid to make the academy compound free of pollution. The project worked perfectly well with the achievement of about over 70 percent of the target; acres of exposed land came under grass plantation, various plants are being planted in a planned manner taking the future into consideration, and proper litter disposal management gave the campus a cleaner appearance. To pursue the determined goal of “Green Sardah and Clean Sardah” and to conserve and preserve wild animals, a dedicated officer of the rank of Sr. ASP is appointed as Environment Officer. Such officer is responsible for the overall green, clean and pollution free environment of the compound, and taking care of the numerous wild animals.
Sardah is a place of profound historic interest and tourist attractions! The campus as a whole along with its lush green ground, Padma river drive and surrounding trees successfully provides a gorgeous and breathtaking atmosphere; there are so many sites of attractions like two old bungalows over two hundred years, centuries old leafy rain trees, superb view of river Padma from the watch tower, stables, century old drinking water well, almost hundred years old guest house, relaxing and wonderful picnic area, wild tree conservation corner, splendid river view cottage, academy museum, sanctuary for the wild animals and so on.
2012, the year of Sardah’s attainment of centenary, is surprisingly and remarkably coincides with so many events, achievements, and issues. Breaking all the previous records since its inception, the number of trainees rose to 2,390 in July 2012. In the beginning, the rank of the principal was Superintendent of Police; in the year 1950 the rank of the principal was upgraded to the Deputy Inspector General (DIG); Khan Bahadur M.A. Khan was the first principal with the upgraded rank of DIG, and upon the rank is further elevated as Additional Inspector General in the year 2011 the first principal Mr. Naim Ahmed BPM with the elevated rank joined the academy in the year 2012. Centenary year also coincides with completion of construction of a colossal swimming pool, a giant gymnasium, Padma river drive, a big drill shed, a master drain, a new cafeteria, entry gate complex, two new monuments in the memory of International Mother Language Day and National Independence, a good number of other constructions and development works, renovations and repairs; engagement with Department of Botany, Rajshahi University for treatment and nourishment of trees, creation of a Conservation of Wild Trees corner and a sanctuary for the wild animals, undertaking project called Green Sardah and Clean Sardah and so on. Internet connection with 20 Mbps capacity and the website of BPA with a capacity of 2 GB opened in June 2012 providing detail information about the academy. A policy based comprehensive Master Plan of the academy, for the first time after its establishment, has been prepared in the year of centenary. The academy is transformed into town like in the year 2012 with naming of different roads and places, installations of traffic sign and signpost on the road sides, junctions and places, and setting up of parking lots in the academy compound.
Change and development is inevitable; it is a natural process as well as a man made process to match and to make an institution capable to meet the needs of changing time and situation. Change is development but not every change is development; desired and purposive change is development. Centering on its reaching the birth centenary the endless effort and exertion of some sincere and devoted men, thank and deep gratitude to all of them, who could bring about noticeable and enviable intense change in the academy within a short possible time. Since its inception each and every principal along with his team has contributed towards the development and progress of the training academy. We have every respect and honour to all of them for their outstanding contribution to take the institution to reach to such a glorious and remarkable stage.
Sardah with its history, pride, heritage, tradition, nostalgia, emotion, glory and achievements celebrated centenary in a grand and luxurious fashion. All the members of the police have endless passion towards their beloved alma mater, Sardah. The great celebration, to mark the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Bangladesh Police Academy, held on 6th, 7th and 8th December in the year 2012 with the gracious presence of our Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the inaugural ceremony. Different vibrant programmes like Heritage Parade, Horse Show, Band Show, Fireworks, Games events, Exhibition of police related artifacts and articles of historical interests, Fair, Cultural Events, Reminiscence, Seminars and other events took place in the celebration to commemorate the 100th anniversary. We wish continuous success of Bangladesh Police Academy. We hope and pray that the academy would live long and prosper with more and more glory and pride in the near future.
Naim Ahmed BPM
Principal (Addl. IGP)
Bangladesh Police Academy
1. Hossian, S.Z (1983) The District of Rajshahi its Past and Present, Police Academy at Sardah: Its growrth and development, Dhaka: Barnamichhil.
2. Finney, P.E.S, O.B.E. (2000) Just My Luck, Dhaka: The University Press Limited
3. Pran Nevile (2010) Sahibs’ India, New Delhi: Penguin Books India
4. Razvi, N.A (1961) Our Police Heritage, Lahore: WAPDA Printing Press
5. Calcutta University Commission, Report Vol. lV, Part ll
6. Curry, J.C The Indian Police, London: Faber & Faber Limited
9. Baki, M.A (2008) Bangladesh Police: Historical Origins & Contemporary Developments
10. Banglapedia – National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh
11. Board of editors (1964), The Policeman (Journal of the Police Training College, Sardah)
12. Professor Dr. Farid Ahsan (2008) Survey report of on Wild Life of Bangladesh Police Academy, Department of Zoology, Chittagong University.